Police car set alight by addict

PUBLISHED: 14:16 05 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:10 01 June 2010

A COCAINE addict torched a police officer s car and caused £6,500 worth of damage simply to get £50 knocked off his drugs bill. Nicholas Lyons poured petrol into Pc Emily Clarke s Volkswagen Golf after smashing a window and then set it alight, a court hea

A COCAINE addict torched a police officer's car and caused £6,500 worth of damage simply to get £50 knocked off his drugs bill.

Nicholas Lyons poured petrol into Pc Emily Clarke's Volkswagen Golf after smashing a window and then set it alight, a court heard.

He ran away from the inferno in Cannon Street, Wisbech, but left a pair of Reebok trainers and a cigarette lighter, Fenland magistrates heard on Wednesday. DNA tests led to his arrest.

Lyons, 19, of Wisbech Road, Outwell, admitted arson, and was sent to Cambridge Crown Court for sentencing.

Prosecutor Andrew Williams told how Pc Clarke heard her car alarm go off just before midnight on September 5.

She saw the blaze, and the fire brigade arrived in time to extinguish the flames but the vehicle was a write-off.

Lyons told police he owed money to a drug dealer, and had agreed to set fire to the car to reduce his debt by £50 but did not realise it belonged to a police officer.

Mr Williams said: "He said he thought it was owned by someone else who had a drug debt, and this was a warning."

Lyons also admitted breaching a conditional discharge for domestic violence.

In mitigation Tim Bartlam said: "This is a very troubling case, and my client seems a very unlikely candidate in relation to this serious allegation.

"He knows he had been extremely stupid. He had a cocaine habit that led him into a murky world where others persuaded him that this was a way to get rid of a debt."

Presiding magistrate Alan Jones, said: "What you did was wanton and deliberate, and frankly appalling.


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