Man jailed after throwing lighter fluid at police

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A MAN who doused himself and a policeman in lighter fluid before trying to ignite it has been jailed for 16 months.

Craig Jones rang the police after stealing beer from a shop telling them to “bring everything they had”.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how two officers arrived at Jones’ home on Blackdown Grove in Parr to be confronted with him standing outside holding a bottle of beer and apparently agitated.

He walked toward them and threw a bottle which narrowly missed but smashed close to where children were playing.

Prosecutor Rob Jones said: “He challenged the officers to a fight, ‘one on one’ and was described as aggressive but curiously, smiling.

“They saw he was holding a can of lighter fuel and he began to pour it over the front of his clothing. The police were concerned because he reached into his pocket and produced a lighter.”

One officer grabbed a fire extinguisher from his car while Jones kept running up and down the pathway trying to get the fluid to ignite.

He threw another bottle of beer at them and when he got closer he tossed lighter fluid into the face of one of the officers.

Jones was sprayed with CS gas which had little effect then was struck by a baton. During the struggle the constable spotted Jones had a large knife down the back of his waistband.

He was struck again and eventually the two officers were able to subdue and arrest him. When he was searched they found another knife with a 12 inch blade tucked in his waistband.

Jailing the 39-year-old for 16 months Judge Andrew Menary QC said that the incident had taken place in public and in front of children.

He said: “This must have been a significantly terrifying scene for everyone involved including the officers. It is clear you were prepared to harm the officers to achieve your aim. They were attempting to do their public duty to protect those citizens nearby and to protect you.”

Jones who has previous convictions had pleaded guilty to affray and two offences of possessing a bladed article.

Geoffrey Lowe defending said that Jones has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. He said: “The trigger for the offences was a combination of low mood and suicidal thoughts.

“He invited the police in a provocative way and indicated he was going to harm himself.

Jones has been diagnosed with bi-piolar.

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