Would Be Petrol Bomber Jailed

8 December 2010, 13:38 | Updated: 8 December 2010, 13:40

A London man is starting an eight-year prison sentence after being found guilty of being involved in an attempt to petrol bomb a Crawley pub.

Amir Ali, 28, of Ridge Rd, London, N8, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court having been found guilty in August of attempting to without lawful excuse damage by fire the Imperial Public House.

This is the outcome of a long investigation by Crawley detectives into the attack at the Imperial pub in Broadfield shortly before 3.30am on Wednesday 28 May, 2008.

The licensee was woken by banging noises and came downstairs to find that the front door glass had been smashed. Two bricks and the remains of a petrol bomb that had failed to ignite were lying on the ground.

An intensive police enquiry resulted in Ali being traced and interviewed soon after the offence, but he denied the offence throughout. However forensic and CCTV evidence helped finally bring him to justice.

Ali and another man, who has not been identified, went to the pub. Ali threw two bricks, breaking the window, and the other man threw a petrol bomb, which hit Ali and burst into flames.

The flames died away almost immediately as he ran off, causing him no injury, but in his panic he ran straight into a lamppost and hit his head. He went to the Crawley walk-in centre for the head injury and was linked to the attack by investigating officers.

Detective Constable Craig Allan 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 today's sentence reflects the seriousness with which the courts take this kind of behaviour."

If you have any information about the second man who attacked the pub with Ali please contact police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting Operation Cantilever or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.