A jobless man who tried to set fire to his ex-girlfriend's flat numerous times with two hostages inside - even in the presence of firefighters and police - was jailed for six years yesterday. Recorder Ronny Wong Fook-hum, SC, noted the crime's 'grievous' nature, saying Wong Lam-mun, 45, had tied up his ex-girlfriend's 13-year-old son and her flatmate Leung Kwun-hing inside before trying to set the blaze. 'The exit was locked, depriving all occupants in the flat the means of escape,' the judge said. The Court of First Instance heard Wong had made many attempts to set fire to the home of his former girlfriend, Sae Low-wanna, in Kai Tak Mansion, Kwun Tong, using a lighter and a pillow on January 3. Twice Mr Leung stamped out his attempts. But even after police and firefighters had arrived after 9pm, Wong still ignited cotton from another pillow. Firemen extinguished the flames and continued to spray water as Wong tried several times to relight the cotton. Previously, the court had heard Ms Sae was having dinner in a restaurant with her son and friends near her home. Mr Leung, who also lived in the flat with his girlfriend, was also at the dinner. However, when the boy returned to the flat early, he was captured and tied up with a telephone cord by the waiting Wong. The defendant threatened the teenager with scissors, forcing him to call his mother and say he had a fever. On receiving the call, Ms Sae asked Mr Leung to return on her behalf. On arriving, however, Mr Leung was also tied up. The court heard the defendant repeatedly asked the teenager to call his mother, threatening to burn them all to death if she did not show up. Ms Sae later received a call from Wong, who threatened to burn down her flat when she refused to come home. Ms Sae telephoned police. Wong told police he had only wanted to secure Ms Sae's help in recovering $20,000 he said he was owed by a Thai friend of hers. Wong had admitted one charge of arson, being reckless as to whether life would be endangered, and two of false imprisonment.