A LODGER tried to claim a dead woman’s belongings as his own.

Mario Mooney has been sentenced after threatening to set fire to someone’s van.

It comes after the 66-year-old attempted to gain entry to a property on West Road in Weaverham where he had been living as a lodger until the owner’s death.

Mooney then claimed he owned all the property inside the house and following an altercation was advised by police not to return to the address.

Ignoring this, Mooney returned four days later, where he was blocked from entering.

He verbally threatened the victim and said he would 'torch' a van.

A spokesperson for Cheshire Police said: “The incident relates to an ongoing civil dispute involving Mooney.

“Mario Mooney had been a lodger at an address on West Road, Northwich, which was owned by a woman until her death.

“Following the death, Mooney moved back into the property at the end of July 2023 and claimed all the property inside the address was his and has been asked to provide receipts regarding this.

“After an altercation at the address on Saturday, September 16, Mooney was advised not to return to the address.

“On September 20, Mooney has attended the address and tried to enter the house via an unlocked rear patio door which goes into the living room.

“He was blocked from entering and following a dispute, he verbally threatened the victim saying ‘If you trash any of my stuff I am going to torch that van’.”

Mooney, whose address was given in court as Nelson Avenue in Portsmouth, was found guilty of threatening to damage or destroy property on April 24 this year.

He returned to Chester Magistrates Court on Friday (May 24) where he was handed a one-year community order.

As part of this, he must complete up to 15 days of rehabilitation activity and 80 hours of unpaid work.

Mooney was also handed a 12-month restraining order, preventing him from contacting the victim by any means whatsoever.

Alongside this, he must pay £500 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service as well as a surcharge of £114.