Great Yarmouth: Arsonist Jailed For Six Years

25 March 2013, 15:46 | Updated: 25 March 2013, 15:53

An arsonist from Great Yarmouth who threatened police with a gun has been jailed.

An arsonist who threatened police officers with a gun during his arrest has been jailed for more than six years.

Paul Ray, 23, from Great Yarmouth, used an imitation firearm to threaten the two officers as they went to arrest him on Marine Parade following a fire at his home in Nelson Road earlier the same day. The two officers managed to wrestle him to the ground before seizing a BB gun in his possession.

Ray, previously of Nelson Road, later admitted to committing arson recklessly and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence in relation to the incident on November 21 2012.

Ray also pleaded guilty at court to making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children between January and November 2012.

He was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Friday 21 March to a custodial sentence of six years and three months, made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.

Speaking after the case, Yarmouth Policing Commander Supt Nick Davison said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the officers who could not know, on first appearance, whether the weapon was real or imitation. They utilised their training, acting bravely and instinctively, to protect themselves and the public from imminent danger.”

Ray was seen leaving his accommodation in Nelson Road at 7.55pm on Wednesday November 21, after which his landlord became aware of a fire in his room. The fire was extinguished and although no-one had been hurt, a fire service investigation later revealed four separate seats of fire had been set.

Later that day, Ray called police to hand himself in and was located on Marine Parade by the two Yarmouth officers. As they approached him, Ray became agitated and stated that he had a gun and the officers could see the butt of a gun in his jacket. One of the officers discharged Pava spray and wrestled Ray to the ground and the gun was kicked out of his reach. He was subsequently arrested.

The previous week, on November 16, police had carried out a warrant at his home address and seized a mobile phone which upon examination was found to hold a series of indecent images of children including some at grade four - one of the most serious levels. He pleaded guilty to eight counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, one of possessing an indecent photograph and one of distributing an indecent photograph.