By Laura Kemp •
Published: 09 Dec 2021 • 12:31
A man allegedly “obsessed” with Covid restrictions burned down a nightclub and bricked a pub to stop them from asking for Covid passports for entry.
Owen Marshall, 29, has been jailed for six years after he set fire to a towel soaked in petrol and posted it through the letterbox of club SWX in Bristol.
He then delivered a letter to the home of the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, taking responsibility for the arson.
The letter warned that he planned to attack other venues.
He then threw a brick with a letter attached through the window of Barley Mow pub, with the letter claiming vaccine passports are a breach of human rights.
On August 2, another nightclub in Britstol, Lakota, received a note warning it would “sustain substantial damage like SWX” if it imposed Covid passports for entry.
The Police tracked Marshall’s movements from where he was seen setting fire back to a shop where he has bought a box of matches.
Following a public appeal, he was identified and arrested, pleading guilty to charges of arson, criminal damage and making threats of causing damage.
He was sentenced yesterday, Wednesday, December 8.
Following the sentencing PC David Stevenson said: “Owen Mashall’s actions were motivated by the completely misguided belief the venues he targeted were about to introduce Covid vaccine passports.”
“His obsession with Covid restrictions ultimately led him to carrying out the extremely reckless attack on SWX and it is only through sheer luck no one was physically harmed.”
“Staff had been at the venue just hours before and they could easily still have been inside when he used an accelerant to start the fire.”
“More than 130 fire service personnel were also put at risk tackling the resulting blaze which took several hours to extinguish.”
He added: “The attack has had a devastating impact on the club and the three businesses based below it with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage and lost revenue caused.”
“These were businesses which had all suffered as result of the pandemic and which were looking forward to serving their community once more only for their livelihoods to again be put in jeopardy.”
“While Marshall has never explained his actions, I am pleased he ultimately accepted responsibility as it negated the need for a trial.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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