Arsonist who petrol bombed newsagents caught after telling friend to ‘read all about it’ in the local newspaper
A bragging arsonist who was caught by police after sending text messages to a friend telling him to “read all about” his petrol bomb attack in the newspaper, has been jailed.
Darren Hall, 30, joked with a pal after he fire-bombed a newsagents in February this year in a revenge attack against a shopkeeper who refused to serve him alcohol.
After throwing a petrol-filled Coke bottle into the store in Carters Green, Birmingham, Hall texted a friend and told him to buy a newspaper to “read all about it.”
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how Hill had returned to Milus News around 20 minutes after he was refused booze armed with his home-made firebomb.
The 30-year-old shopkeeper managed to escape serious injury as he was able to close the front door of the shop moments before it was engulfed in flames.
During the investigation police seized Hall’s phone where a number of text messages were found in which he admitted being responsible.
Hall, from Wednesbury, West Mids., originally denied arson with intent to endanger life but changed his plea to guilty after being confronted with “overwhelming evidence,” police said.
On Tuesday, he was caged for six-and-a-half years.
Pc Craig Whittaker, from West Midlands Police, said after the case: “After examining Hall’s phone we found a number of messages he had sent to a friend about the attack and one which even told him to look in a newspaper to read all about it.
“This was a cowardly crime, carried out at a time when the shop was open and there were customers and staff inside.
“If it were not for the bravery and quick thinking of the shopkeeper there was a real possibility that someone could have been seriously injured or even killed.
“This sentence reflects the seriousness of what happened and the complete disregard Hall had for innocent people in the shop.”