Nailsworth man sets fire to woman’s Volkswagen Beetle car
A 56-YEAR-OLD man who set fire to a woman’s car has been sentenced to an 18-month community directive.
Peter Davis, of Market Street, Nailsworth, had known his victim for about a year and they had met about four times in that time.
He repeatedly asked her to buy her Volkswagen Beetle convertible that was parked in the driveway.
She refused, saying she plans to give it to her son when he turns 18.
Nicholas Lee, prosecutor at Gloucester Crown Court, said on Thursday (September 22): “On May 24 the woman was at her home with another friend when Davis visited her.
“She asked Davis to leave and escorted him off the property.
“She was then alone in the house as Davis cycled back to the woman’s home and upon arrival kicked and banged on her door.
“Davis claimed the woman took his debit card and he wanted it back. She leaned out of her upstairs window and told him she didn’t have his bank card.
“A short time later, Davis was seen with a can of gas in the front driveway of the property and very quickly pedaled away.
“Moments later, flames erupted from the convertible’s soft roof and the neighbors called emergency services.
“Police arrived within minutes, put out the fire and found the canister in the driveway.”
The court was told Davis had caused damage to the front door and together with the damage to the canvas roof and its seating the repairs were expected to cost around £3,500.
Lloyd Jenkins, defending himself, said: “Davis deeply regrets what he did and he is sorry. The fire was short lived and had limited effects on the vehicle.
“He has a number of mental health issues.
“The sequence of events is totally out of character for him. When Davis was arrested, he was remanded in custody and has therefore spent a significant amount of time in prison.
Mr. Davis pleaded guilty to arson for being reckless about whether property would be destroyed on May 24, 2022.
Judge Ian Lawrie KC told Davis, “Because this arson offense was totally out of character and because it was related to where your life was at the time.
“I think an 18-month community decree is the most appropriate sentence because you’ve already served a sentence.”
The judge ordered Davis to complete 20 days of rehabilitation activity and pay the woman £500 in compensation and a £95 victim’s surcharge.
He also imposed an order preventing Davis from contacting the woman for the next six months.