A mechanic who was sacked because of his drinking habits has been handed a suspended prison sentence after setting fire to the garage where he had worked, the Liverpool Echo has reported.
Ivan Rapsys, who had worked at the business for around six years, used petrol to start the fire at Recovery Services in Kirkdale while intoxicated, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
At the time Rapsys started the fire, four people were living in flats which adjoined the workshop and 25 vehicles were in the workshop and forecourt.
CCTV footage played in the court showed Rapsys lighting the fire while swigging alcohol.
He filmed the resulting blaze on his mobile, and also made gestures to the CCTV camera which captured the whole incident.
When he was later arrested, Rapsys said: “All this because I poured petrol on the floor.
“It was only lit for a while and there was no damage caused.”
Simon Duncan, prosecuting, said that the owner of the garage received a call from Rapsys’ landlord on the evening of August 25 2019.
He added: “The landlord said there was an idiot at the garage with a drum of petrol who was threatening to burn it down with the flats.”
Mr Duncan said Rapsys had earlier complained to his landlord that he had been burgled, and was not satisfied with how the matter had been resolved.
He added: “The defendant bore animosity not only to the garage owner, but the landlord as well.”
Martine Snowdon, defending, said Rapsys was “aggrieved because he believed the landlord could have done more for him after being burgled that day.”
She said Rapsys was “addressing the landlord” by capturing his actions on CCTV.
“This was a protest to get a reaction.
“It was a cry for help but it was a stupid and criminal way of going about it.”
Rapsys appeared in court for sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.
Judge Garrett Byrne told Rapsys: “This was a very deliberate and planned arson attack to get your landlord’s attention.
“It is hard to imagine a more inappropriate way of achieving that aim.
“In your pre-sentence report you said you saw it as a ‘lawful rebellion.’
“You tried to minimise your involvement and showed very little victim empathy, and blamed other people.”
Rapsys was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
He was also ordered to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work, along with rehabilitation activity.
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