Tayside and Central Scotland

Man who tried to start petrol station fire is jailed

A drunk man who tried to start a fire at a petrol station after his early release from prison has been sent back to jail for 44 months.

Jason Wilson attempted to ignite residual petrol in hoses at the Bo'ness garage and started a fire in a bin.

A court heard Wilson, 25, then returned to the premises smoking a cigarette and tried to insert it into one of the nozzles.

The High Court in Edinburgh was told the incident was captured on CCTV.

Judge Lord Brailsford told Wilson he would have jailed him for five-and-a-half years for the offence, but for his early guilty plea.

He also ordered that Wilson serve an outstanding period of 109 days from his last prison sentence before starting the new jail term.

'Devastating consequences'

Advocate depute David Taylor earlier told the court: "Because of modern security equipment, it is difficult to set fire to a petrol station with a lit cigarette or to set fire to the premises in such a way as to cause underground fuel reserves to be ignited.

"But had the fire taken hold and generated a significant blaze spreading to the forecourt canopy and each of the pumps, it could potentially have reached the underground tanks with devastating consequences."

Mr Taylor said the filling station had been closed for the evening on Hogmanay and the fuel pumps were closed off and secured.

In the early hours of the morning a member of the public rang police saying a man in dark clothing was throwing petrol hoses about on the forecourt.

Mr Taylor said: "Throughout the incident, the accused appeared extremely drunk, having difficulty walking and maintaining his footing."

Wilson, who has 32 previous convictions, admitted culpable and reckless conduct on 1 January at Malthurst Fuels, Dean Road, Bo'ness.

Defence counsel Derick Nelson said: "The most likely scenario is he could have set himself on fire.

"He finds it difficult to understand what he has done."

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