Jail let-off for Martin Williams after threat to set fire to Longton police station with petrol
ANGRY Martin Williams threatened to set fire to a police station with petrol and a lighter – after accusing officers of stealing £350 from his house.
The 43-year-old doused the foyer of Longton police station with fuel just a day after officers were called to a fire at his Sandford Hill home.
Members of the public looked on in horror as Williams pulled out a plastic lighter to ignite the petrol.
But the defendant was disarmed by a police officer using CS spray and arrested outside the Sutherland Road station.
Panasonic Store Camera•20x Optical Zoom LEICA DC Lens from 24mm...View details
What Digital camera Gold award winning DMCTZ40
SAVE £20 off our store price ONLY with this voucher
Plus you can also claim a SD card or spare battery
Choice of colours, free parking behind store
Terms: Print this voucher and hand in at Panasonic Store Hanley to save £20 off our store price ONLY £269.90
Contact: 01782 342609
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Now Williams has walked from Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court with a suspended prison sentence after admitting threatening to damage or destroy the police station on September 7 last year.
Sentencing Williams, Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said: "This would have been a frightening experience."
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Williams poured the petrol around the police station after buying the fuel from the Esso garage, in Dividy Road, Bentilee.
David Bennett, prosecuting said: "He produced a plastic lighter and raised it over his head. The inquiry officer feared for his safety.
"A sergeant confronted the defendant who was threatening to light the lighter.
"He used CS spray against the defendant who continued to try to light the lighter. Other officers forced the defendant out and arrested him outside the station."
In his police interview, Williams, who now lives with his parents in Canberra Crescent, Meir, apologised for the incident. He later found the £350 he believed had been stolen.
Jason Holt, mitigating, told the court: "He discovered the money was missing. He felt the only people who could have taken the money was the police.
"It was a gross overreaction on his part.
"He says he wanted to make the police feel vulnerable and insecure, which is how he felt at the time.
"He acknowledged he was wrong when the money was found. He acknowledged just how stupid he has been.
"He is ashamed of his actions. Society will gain nothing by sending him to custody.
"He is unlikely to commit any further offences."
Williams was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with two years' supervision. He is also subject to a four-month electronically-monitored curfew from 8pm to 7am.
Following yesterday's case, a Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "This was a serious crime which could have had horrendous results."