Fleet News

Man jailed for setting fire to girlfriend's company car

POLICE caught a man setting fire to his girlfriend's company car after a drunken row.

Two passing police officers chased Aaron Williams (34) after seeing him try to set fire to his girlfriend's Vauxhall Corsa after crashing it into a roundabout in Chessington.

Williams, who has prior convictions for aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance, was twice over the alcohol limit when he crashed the car, which he had taken without permission, after arguing with his girlfriend Toni Beckford at a party in Chessington last October.

The car belonged to amusement arcade company Leisure Link based in Chessington, which employed Beckford.

Kingston Crown Court heard last week how Williams sought to hide the accident by setting the car alight with petrol so he could claim it had been stolen.

CPS lawyer Anthony Prosser said: 'When he got to the police station he did not ask for a solicitor, saying I've done what I've done'.'

Defending, Mary Lawrenson said the event had ruined Christmas for his two children.

'He has learnt his lesson and realises his actions were caused by drinking excessively. He is also hoping to set up a fruit selling business with a friend,' she said.

Judge Price said Williams' actions were 'quite unacceptable', labelling the arson offence as the most serious of the charges faced.

Williams, from Clapham, was given a 15 month prison sentence for the arson, and six months' concurrent sentence for the aggravated vehicle taking.

He was fined £250 for drink driving, £150 for driving with no insurance and £100 for driving with no licence.

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