A stupid thug who tried to firebomb a pub while people were sleeping inside has been jailed for eight years-after running into a lamppost trying to escape the scene.
Amir Ali was accidentally hit by a petrol bomb thrown by his accomplice and then ran into the post in a panic as he attempted to flee, his view obscured by his hoodie.
The 28-year-old was trying to firebomb the Imperial pub, in Crawley, West Sussex, but his attempt turned into farce.
He was given the jail term at Lewes Crown Court, sitting in Brighton, on Tuesday for the crime.
The court was told Ali and another man, who has not yet been found by police, went to the pub at 3.30am on May 28, 2008.
Ali threw two bricks, breaking a window, and the other man then threw a petrol bomb.
But it hit Ali and burst into flames.
The flames died away almost instantly as he ran away, but in his panic he ran straight into the nearby lamppost.
He hit his head and was briefly knocked to the floor before going to Crawley NHS Walk-in Centre for treatment.
He was subsequently linked to the attack by investigating officers and caught on the pub’s CCTV cameras.
The licensee of the pub was woken by banging noises and came downstairs to find the front door had been smashed.
Two bricks and the remains of the petrol bomb that had failed to ignite were lying on the ground.
DC Craig Allan, from Sussex Police, said: “This was a prolonged and difficult investigation during which the defendant consistently denied being responsible.
“However, gradually we were able to piece it all together and this week’s sentence reflects the seriousness with which the courts take this kind of behaviour.”
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