Petrol threat man locked up

Benjamin Lee
Benjamin Lee
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A VICTIM of an assault refused to shop his attacker to the police – and bought petrol and cigarette lighters to “sort things out” himself.

Preston Crown Court heard how when police stopped Benjamin Lee in his car they discovered two containers of petrol in the foot well, he told the officer he needed to be arrested to stop him doing something stupid.

The 23-year-old of Knowle Avenue, North Shore, pleaded guilty to a charge of having articles with intent to destroy or damage property.

The court heard Lee was travelling along Central Drive just after 3.30am on January 2 when he was stopped by police.

Rachel Faux, prosecuting, said when Lee jumped out of the vehicle to speak to the officer, it became obvious he had a facial injury.

Lee said he had fallen downstairs at home.

But when the petrol containers were found, Lee told the police he needed to be arrested to stop him doing something stupid.

Miss Faux told the court: “The defendant admitted he had been assaulted, but refused to say by who and said he intended to sort it out himself.

“He said the petrol was for his motorbike at home, but inquiries revealed there was no motorbike.”

The defendant confessed he had bought petrol for the containers as well as three cigarette lighters.

When arrested, he said: “If you take me in tonight I’ll be free tomorrow night and we’ll see what happens then.

“I’m not telling you anything. Just wait until I’m out. I’ll do 10 years for what I’ll do to him.”

Paul Robinson, defending, said “There is no clear idea what he was going to do with the petrol.

“He wasn’t found immediately outside somebody’s home address, in the last throes of preparing for an arson attack.

“It was very much at the preliminary stages of any future offending, whatever might have been.

“He was heavily intoxicated at the time, having been on a drinking session for well over 24 hours.”

Drink was said to have played a large part in the defendant’s life.

But Mr Robinson said Lee had re-assessed his life while on remand in custody and considered the negative effects of drinking.

The judge, Recorder John Bromley-Davenport QC, told Lee: “The intention formed of getting petrol and possibly using it arose out of your drunkenness at the time.

“The offence demands a custodial sentence.”

Lee was sentenced to 14 months in jail.