Firebomb terror of noisy campers

Alan Bentley
Alan Bentley
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A GANGSTER who terrorised teenage campers by shooting at them and hurling firebombs at their tents has been jailed.

The group, from Blackpool, were camping on farmland at Greenhalgh, near Kirkham, when they came under fire from convicted drug dealer Alan Bentley.

He was a former member of a notorious North West crime syndicate which not only masterminded a multi-million pound heroin racket but was also linked to the murder of a five-year-old boy in a bungled gangland hit.

Bentley, 43, of Scorsby Road, Bidston, Wirral, was night fishing in Greenhalgh when he became annoyed at the noise coming from a group of seven boys and girls out camping.

He decided to take action by arming himself with an air rifle and raining pellets down on the group.

One struck a youngster’s clothing before Bentley filled beer bottles with petrol and hurled them towards the teenagers’ tents.

Det Sgt Steve Colman, of Blackpool CID, said: “These youngsters suffered extreme trauma that night.

“They sat there petrified in the dark as they were shot at, and had bottles of petrol thrown at them.

“Bentley told me in the interview he had been disturbed by young people making noise while he fished in a nearby pond.

“He is a very violent man and simply because it was affecting his enjoyment, he just lost it.”

The teeangers fled to nearby Greenhalgh Fisheries to ring police after the terrifying incident on September 25 last year in a field near to Whitemore Fisheries.

Preston Crown Court heard the youngsters had permission from the owner of a field to stay there overnight.

Passing sentence, the judge, Mr Justice MacDuff told Bentley: “Your behaviour was not only unacceptable, but wholly dangerous.

“You set fire to this field. You were drunk. You took the law into your own hands to frighten these people away, without any thought for the fact you were on licence.”