Man started fire by throwing gin bottle containing accelerant at cars

John Findlay threw the bottle at Janice and William McVey's motors on May 16, 2020.

Man started fire by throwing gin bottle containing accelerant at cars SNS Group

A man threw a bottle of gin containing accelerant at cars which caused a minute-long fire on a road.

John Findlay, 40, threw the bottle at Janice and William McVey’s motors on May 16, 2020.

He had earlier purchased the bottle and a pair of gloves while on a taxi journey.

Findlay had also argued with another man that night while holding a knife after letting down his tyres.

He pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to wilfully or recklessly destroying property.

Findlay also admitted assaulting James Edwards and culpably and recklessly throwing a glass bottle containing accelerant.

The court heard Findlay ordered a taxi from Knightswood, Glasgow before stopping at a convenience store.

Prosecutor Carrie Stevens said: “He spent nine minutes in the shop in which he purchased distinctive light blue gloves and a bottle of white spirits.”

Findlay left the store and headed to Mr Edward’s home which was nearby before returning to the taxi to put a bag inside.

Findlay walked back to Mr Edward’s home where he was viewed by his young daughter deflating the tyres on his car.

Mr Edwards confronted Findlay – who was back in the taxi – and swung a bottle at him.

Findlay left the taxi and revealed a lock back knife before the pair argued on the road.

Findlay returned to the taxi while Mr Edwards inspected the damage to his car which included marks on the bodywork and damage to two tyres.

The vandal was dropped off in nearby Scotstoun where Findlay and an unknown man were spotted by the McVeys outside their home.

Ms Stevens added: “The McVeys observed both men light bottles and throw them across the road towards their cars.

“Both bottles smashed on the roadway and went on fire”

The men fled as the police were contacted.

Officers attended Findlay’s property but he was not inside.

It was noted there was a “strong smell of accelerant” as well as blue gloves in the bin.

At the scene, officers found accelerant on both sides of the carriageway, shards of glass with accelerant on them and the neck of a gin bottle.

Ms Stevens said: “CCTV showed the fire going up both sides of the carriageway and burning for approximately one minute.”

Findlay was later traced and arrested.

Sentence was deferred until next month for background reports by Sheriff John McCormick who remanded Findlay, of Scotstoun, in custody meantime.

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