By Tara Rippin • 20 November 2020 • 17:44
A man doused in petrol who threatened to set fire to himself and burn down Kensington Town Hall with everybody in it has been convicted of attempted arson.
A “brave” officer has been credited for managed to disarm Ako Ahmed, 50, of his lighter, preventing an “unthinkable” situation.
Ahmed, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday, November 19. He had previously been found guilty of making a threat to kill and threatening to damage property in February.
At around 11.30am on September 4, 2019, Ahmed entered Kensington Town Hall and started shouting at staff.
He then poured petrol on the reception floor area, all over himself and took out a lighter before threatening to kill an employee as well as everyone in the building by burning it down.
Police were called and, upon their arrival, Ahmed was disarmed of his lighter by a brave police officer.
He was arrested on suspicion of arson and threats to kill and later charged and remanded.
The court heard how Ahmed had been involved in a dispute with the council about his housing situation.
Detective Constable Nigel Pacquette, Belgravia CID, who led the investigation, said: “Those Ahmed targeted had been trying to help him, but unfortunately he lost sight of that and reacted in a way that could have resulted in grave injuries for everyone involved, himself included.
“I’m thankful this wasn’t the case and would like to thank PC Stanley who bravely disarmed Ahmed of his lighter.
“If it hadn’t been for that officer’s actions, who put themselves in harm’s way, the result is unthinkable.”
Ahmed is due to be sentenced on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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