Erith: Man jailed for trail of destruction arson attacks
PUBLISHED: 11:52 16 September 2011
An unemployed man who caused a trail of destruction and almost a major gas explosion has been jailed for a series of arson attacks.
Sundeep Ghuman, 28, of West Street, Erith, was sentenced to five years and four months at Woolwich Crown Court last Thursday, after setting alight street furniture, tyres and household rubbish.
On May 7, armed with a blow torch and propane gas canister, Mr Ghuman started his rampage when he broke into a Kwik Fit store, in West Street, and set fire to a stack of tyres and a fence.
Later that night, residents had to be evacuated from their houses due to a build up of gas after he caused damage to a gas pipe which posed a serious risk of explosion.
Acting detective chief inspector Jim Pryde said: “I would like to thank the residents of West Street whose vigilance in calling the fire brigade averted further damage being caused to property and for their support and cooperation during the police investigation.
“People could have died or sustained serious injury as a result of Ghuman’s criminal behaviour and this is reflected in the length of the sentence handed down by the court.”
Following information from the public, Mr Ghuman was arrested the next day by officers from the Erith Safer Neighbourhoods Team. The blow torch and gas canister were found during a subsequent search of his home.
Mr Ghuman was found guilty of two counts of arson and three counts of being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.
At the end of his sentence Ghuman will be on licence for a further five years.