Teen petrol bomber behind bars after attack on Burnley family

SIX YEARS: Thomas Craig (S)
SIX YEARS: Thomas Craig (S)

A TEENAGER who petrol bombed a family home after a campaign of harassment, has been locked up for six years.

A 10-year-old cried “I don’t want to die” as his dad tried to douse the flames after Thomas Craig (19) struck at their home in Deerstone Avenue, Burnley.

Burnley Crown Court was told Lee Johnson, his partner Lisa and their two children had been traumatised by the attack last November.

Craig had targeted the victim and his family for two years. He had been given a suspended jail sentence for damage and an assault on Mr Johnson after an incident between Lisa Johnson and Craig’s parents, who were neighbours.

Mr Richard Taylor (defending) said Craig’s actions had been a misguided idea of protecting his mother.

The court was told that on the day of the offence Craig had been to a garage to buy petrol, filled a plastic bottle and was seen by a neighbour as he threw it at the victims’ front door.

Craig, of Kay Gardens, Burnley, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered and was sent to a young offenders’ institution. He was also given a lifetime restraining order, banning him from going to the victims’ home or contacting them.

Mr Stephen Parker (prosecuting) said Craig caused problems fevery time he got drunk by threatening to petrol bomb the house and put windows through.

A psychiatrist said Craig had been suffering a moderate depressive episode and may not have taken prescribed medication. He had needed cognitive behavioural therapy when he was diagnosed and is now taking medication.

Mr Taylor added: “He is absolutely terrified now at the prospect of what could have happened and he did not give any consideration to that at the time. He is certainly not proud of himself and has shown a great deal of shame.

“He will emerge from this sentence a more mature young man with the understanding of the significant danger this offence occasioned.”

There’s more on this shocking case in Friday’s Express