A Hastings man has been jailed for throwing petrol bombs at a house occupied by a family including two children.
Peter Bailey, of Plynlimmon Drive, was sentenced to eleven and a half years in prison when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, December 20. He will also serve an extended period of five years on licence supervision when he is released.
The 33-year-old man had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to arson with intent to endanger life at the house in Chiltern Drive on May 2.
Late that evening, Bailey went to the Chiltern Drive address and hurled two petrol bombs at it, hitting the front and side and briefly setting the building alight.
Thankfully the fires were out by the time firefighters arrived but one of them had to be stamped on and have water thrown over it by the occupants and a neighbour. Flames from the other one came very close to the window of an occupied first-floor bedroom, police said.
The occupants were unhurt but very shaken by the frightening and completely unexpected experience.
Detective Constable David Brown said: “Our investigation swiftly revealed that Bailey had a dispute years ago with a relative of the family there, who used to live there but had since moved away.
“Forensic examination of bottles and other material found after immediate enquiries at Bailey’s address found that they matched the bottles used in the attack, as well as directly linking him to one of them, and he was arrested.
“He initially denied everything but our evidence was such that eventually he had little option but to admit the offence once at court. This was clear case of spiteful and vicious reaction to his simply seeing a man in the town centre earlier that day with whom he had an issue some time ago.
“It is very fortunate that the fire did not spread and cause injury or worse.”