South Shields petrol bomber set himself alight

Newcastle Crown Court

Newcastle Crown Court

A bungling fire-raiser set his own clothes alight when he threw a petrol bomb in an attempted arson attack on his aunt's car.

Keiren Booth manufactured the incendiary device after a family row at a birthday party led to him posting a series of threats on Facebook about damaging his aunt's property, which he then decided to carry out.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Booth, 20, of Ebchester Street, South Shields, turned up outside his aunt's home in South Shields in the early hours of September 23 with the home made petrol bomb.

Keiren Booth set himself alight in petrol attack

Keiren Booth set himself alight in petrol attack

He was also in possession of two kitchen knives on September 23

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, told the court: "There was an attempt made by the defendant, who attended with petrol, a home made incendiary device, to set fire to the vehicle.

"He threw it at the vehicle but it bounced off, bounced back towards the defendant and singed his clothes."

The court heard Booth smashed a kitchen window a the house and threw one of the knives he was carrying through it while shouting threats outside.

Booth admitted attempted arson, affray, two charges of criminal damage, two offences of having a bladed article and one of making threats to commit criminal damage.

Judge Deborah Sherwin told him: "You were armed with some kind of container of petrol that you threw at the car. It then bounced back to you and your clothing was burned by it.

"Ordinarily, people who go around arming themselves with knives and petrol bombs can expect an immediate prison sentence."

The judge sentenced Booth to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work and programme requirements.

Judge Sherwin said an immediate prison sentence could send Booth, who has never been in trouble before, in the "wrong direction".

The judge told him: "You can consider yourself very lucky."

Tom Moran, defending, said Booth was still grieving the sudden death of his father when he was a teen, which he has never properly come to terms with, and has good employment prospects.

Mr Moran added: "The biggest danger committed was to himself. He set fire to himself in the course of doing this."