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Man set fire to Fiesta and Corsa at all-night Willenhall party

By Marion Brennan | Willenhall | Crime | Published:

A partygoer who set fire to a fellow reveller's van after he refused to buy a car from him has been locked up.

Wolverhampton Crown Court

Alexander Price pestered the other man at an all-night party in New Invention, Willenhall, on June 24 last year, Wolverhampcon Crown Court heard.

The 20-year-old offered to sell him a van or a motorbike because 'he heard he'd got plenty of money' and would even steal a vehicle of his choice, said Mr Ian Ball, prosecuting.

Price became upset when his offer was declined and at 4.30am was overheard to tell another party guest that he was going to smash up the other man's van.

A few minutes later there was a strong smell of burning and the van owner went outside to find that his white Ford Fiesta was ablaze.

He made an attempt to salvage some items from the boot but the heat was too strong and he had to give up.

The court heard Price was seen standing nearby with the Fiesta's handbook which he set alight with a blowtorch before running off laughing.

The £5,500 van containing tools and clothing exploded, setting fire to a nearby Vauxhall Corsa, worth £4,000, owned by a neighbour.

Price, of Moore Road, New Invention, pleaded guilty two two counts of arson.

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Defending him, Mr Simon Warlock said that Price suffered from attention deficit disorder and was on the autistic spectrum and had failed to take his medication.

He had also been drinking and taken cannabis and was 'effectively out of control' that night'.

He had had his head and eyebrows shaved during the party but had absolutely no recall of it the following day.

"He's a simple boy, not in anyway sophisticated," said Mr Warlock.

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"In many ways he thought he'd been tortured, and he told police he'd been the victim of a kidnap."

But Judge Dean Kershaw described his actions as a 'real show of defiance and belligerence - you wanted to show you were someone who stuck by your word.'

He sentenced Price to 10 months in a young offenders institution.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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