A FORMER husband who carried out a campaign of abuse and intimidation was classed as “medium risk” by Essex Police before he set two people on fire, an inquest heard.

Officers are being questioned about their handing of Kieren Lynch in the weeks leading up to the fire which killed him and his mother-in-law.

The jury heard Lynch had led a campaign of harassment against Ms Cronin, her daughter and his former wife Susan Lynch and their two children aged 15 and 19.

He was arrested on January 11 last year after smashing plant pots outside Mrs Lynch’s home with a claw hammer.

On Tuesday, a jury heard evidence from PC Chapman, an officer from an operational support group in Essex Police who had been called to the scene and arrested Lynch.

She said: “Whilst we were inside we were told he was outside again, and I looked to see him pulling up in his van. My colleague then went out and made the arrest.”

The incident was classed as a “medium threat” meaning the police did not believe there was an immediate safety concerns for the family.

Assistant coroner Tina Harrington said in the statement provided by Susan Lynch threats to kill had been made by Lynch, and also questioned why a firearms search had not been conducted at Lynch’s home address.

She said: “If there is a domestic violence incident there should be a firearms search. There was no referral to social care at that stage, despite children under 18 involved, and no reference in the police report to threats to kill.

“But with Mrs Lynch’s statement there was reference to threats to kill.”

Susan Lynch also told the court the police didn’t follow up with her about a safeguarding procedure.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct is investigating Essex Police’s handling of the case.

Two months after the incident, and others, Mr Lynch killed Ms Cronin and himself, the inquest heard.

The inquest continues.