Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police
A man who threatened to set fire to himself and Kensington Town Hall while people were inside has pled guilty to attempting to commit arson.
Ako Ahmed 45 (01.7.75), of no fixed abode, made the plea on Thursday, 19 November at Isleworth Crown Court. He had previously been found guilty of making a threat to kill and threatening to damage property in February.
At around 11.30hrs on 4 September 2019, Ahmed attended Kensington Town Hall in Hornton Street 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 a named 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.”
At Isleworth Crown Court on 25 February, Ahmed was found unanimously guilty of threatening to damage property and, at the same court the next day, was found guilty of making a threat to kill.
He was found not guilty of attempting to commit arson with intent to endanger life.
He was remanded into custody on Thursday, 19 November and is due to be sentenced on Tuesday, 5 January, 2021.