On the morning of October 19 last year, the defendant turned up at the shop and drenched one of the owners, Ako Abdullah, in petrol, the court heard.Now, I don’t know what goes through the mind of a CPS officer any more than I know what goes through the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic (because, yes, that’s what he turned out to be) but how is drenching someone in petrol not attempted murder?
Terrified about what might happen the shopkeeper ran outside as the shop was set ablaze.
The 30-year-old, of Rawstorne Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to arson, being reckless whether life would be endangered.*sigh*
The Polish national was assisted by an interpreter for his sentencing hearing.Well, of course he was…
Tim Brennand, prosecuting, said Szydlowski was known to the owners of the shop.
In the days leading up to the offence, he had been behaving in an anti-social and difficult manner at the shop.
He was asked to leave on October 17 for openly drinking alcohol inside the premises.
The following day, he returned claiming his MP3 player had been left there.So, that’s making threats to kill and clear evidence of premeditation.
He made threats to the owners of “I'll burn your shop,” and “I'll blow up your shop”.
The next day he filled a container or jerry can with 10.55 litres of petrol at a garage in King Street, went to the shop and poured the contents over Mr Abdullah.
Hard to see how he’s escaped with a hospital order, isn’t it?
Mark Stuart, defending, said Szydlowski had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia for some time, probably while he had been in Poland and certainly while in this country.I guess we should be thankful he didn’t cut someone’s head off.
A consultant forensic psychiatrist gave evidence to say Szydlowski should be subject to a hospital order, with restrictions.It’s OK, we’ll pay. We’ve got lots of spare psychiatric places for all the flotsam and jetsom in Europe, haven’t we?
Can we leave yet?