Attempted arsonist high on monkey dust jailed

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A 48-year-old man has been sentenced today (February 20) for 18 months for attempted arson and common assault whilst being intoxicated on ‘monkey dust’.

Raymond Davis of no fixed address wandered barefoot to a petrol gas food store on Waterloo Road, Stoke-on-Trent on September Sunday 9 of last year where he attempted to set himself alight.

Prosecuting, Rebecca Wade told the court: “Mr Davis approached Miss Smith at 7:50 am that morning as she described him being ‘off his head on drugs and alcohol’.

“He asked her for a cigarette, there was another customer pulling up so she gave him her cigarette which was already lit.

Mr Davis used a petrol nozzle and the lit cigarette in an attempt to ignite himself.

“When Miss Smith and another member of staff stopped him and told him to leave Mr Davis pushed Miss Smith.

“Shortly after the police arrived on the scene.”

Davies has eight previous offences and six convictions beginning in 2003 but none relating to arson.

Mitigating, Andrew Turnock, said: ” From 1985 onwards Mr Davis has mental health and drug relating issues.

“This is the first time he has been driven to take his own life but he had no intention to harm others.

Mr Davis was under the influence of a substance commonly known as ‘monkey dust’ which would have aggravated his previous issues of suidice.

“He lacks family relationships as no one has visited from his family.

“He is capable of addressing the issues that prevail his character, plainly he is a lonely helpless figure.”

Sentencing Davis, Judge Glenn DL said: “You are 48 years-old on bail for a public offence order which you pleaded guilty which I will give you full credit for.

“Your sentence will be reduced by a third as your intention was to set fire to yourself but you were reckless in endangering others.

“Monkey dust is a notorious substance which causes paranoia, your actions were highly dangerous and you recognise that.

“You have long term issues with drugs and alcohol.

“There was no damage but those who were affected by your actions would have found it terrifying.”

Davis was sentenced for 18 months of which he will serve half and then be under post-sentence supervision.

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