Nailsworth man sets fire to women’s car Volkswagen Beetle

A 56-YEAR-old man who set fire to a woman’s car has been sentenced to an 18-month community order.

Peter Davis, of Market Street, Nailsworth, had known his victim for about a year and they had met up around four times during that period.

He asked her several times to buy her Volkswagen Beetle convertible that was sitting in the driveway. 

She refused, saying she was planning to give it to her son when he reached the age of 18. 

Nicholas Lee, prosecuting at Gloucester Crown Court on Thursday (September 22) said: “On May 24 the woman was at her home with another friend when Davis visited her. 

“She asked Davis to leave and escorted him out of the property. 

“She was then alone in the house when Davis cycled back to the woman’s home and on arrival he kicked and hit her door. 

“Davis claimed that the woman had taken his debit card and he wanted it back. She leant out of her upstairs window and told him she did not have his bank card. 

“A short time later, Davis was seen in the front driveway of the property with a jerrycan of petrol and cycled off very quickly.

“Moments later flames were seen coming from the soft roof of the convertible car and the neighbours called the emergency services. 

“The police arrived within minutes, who put out the fire and found the jerrycan in the driveway.”

The court was told that Davis caused damage to the front door and along with the damage to the canvas roof and its seating, the repairs are expected to cost in the region of £3,500. 

Lloyd Jenkins, defending, said: “Davis fully regrets what he has done and is sorry. The fire was short lived and had limited effect on the vehicle. 

“He has a number of mental health issues. 

“The sequence of events is totally out of character for him. When Davis was arrested, he was remanded into custody and has therefore spent a substantial period in prison. 

Mr Davis pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether property would be destroyed on May 24, 2022.

Judge Ian Lawrie KC told Davis: “Because this offence of arson was totally out of character and because it was in context as to where your life was at the time.

“I feel an 18-month community order is the most appropriate sentence because you have already served a period in custody.”

The judge ordered that Davis complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay £500 compensation to the woman along with a £95 victim surcharge.  

He also imposed an order preventing Davis from contacting the woman for the next six months. 

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