Motorbike thief who doused eight police officers with petrol jailed

This image shows the moment eight police officers had petrol thrown over them, with two of the officers hospitalised after digesting the liquid. (PA)

A motorbike thief who threw petrol at eight police officers from a watering can to stop them from arresting him has been jailed.

Police were terrified after the man, who had armed himself with the flammable liquid, doused them with it and left them fearing for their lives.

Justin Jackson, 28, admitted at an earlier hearing at Basildon Crown Court to eight counts of administering a noxious substance with intent to cause injury.

Dramatic footage posted by Essex Police shows the chase from a helicopter, which was at the scene, in which police pursue the vehicle before Jackson gets off the bike and throws the substance at the officers.

He has been sentenced for three years and nine months.

Jackson's mother was given a suspended nine-month sentence after she threatened the officers with a hammer during the incident in Basildon, Essex.

Judge Samantha Cohen said it must have been a "terrifying experience" for the police officers and found that Jackson did it to prevent them from making arrests.

Initially some of the officers thought they were splashed with a disfiguring acid or bleach, but when they smelled it was petrol they feared they would be set alight,’ she said.


Justin Jackson, 28, admitted at an earlier hearing at Basildon Crown Court to eight counts of administering a noxious substance with intent to cause injury. (PA)

Judge Cohen praised the officers involved as a ‘credit to their force’

The incident happened on May 5th after police tried to arrest a youth riding a stolen motorbike and people interfered with attempts to arrest him.

The disorder involved a "considerable number" of members of the public and the police helicopter was on the scene, the court heard.

During this disorder, Jackson "armed himself with a watering can full of petrol’ then ‘brings it to the scene and sprays officers with it", said Joe Bird, prosecuting.

He said the impact on the eight police officers varied, with some feeling "stinging on the skin the petrol came into contact with" and others getting the fuel in their eyes.

Mr Bird said: "One described being unable to see, having his head in his hands on the floor, not knowing what was going to happen to him or how he was going to get out of the situation.’

The thief was eventually being arrested when confronted by officers armed with Tasers. (PA)

"They thought they could be set alight and left with significantly worse injuries, if not killed.’

Jackson was eventually arrested when confronted by officers armed with tasers.

Temporary Superintendent Jonathan Baldwin, reading from his victim impact statement in court, said: "At the time of the incident while being covered with petrol I remember thinking “we could all go up in flames here like Roman candles”."'

He said he could not see if anyone was smoking in the vicinity, adding: ‘It was one of those days I realised I might not have got home at all.’

Alison Gurden, for Jackson, of Ward Close, Basildon, said that he had written a letter of apology and she read it aloud to the court.

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Jackson said: ‘I was just trying to defuse the situation. ‘I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve done and I can only imagine the fear they felt.’

Jackson’s mother Janine Justin, 47, of Ward Close, Basildon, had denied possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and was found guilty at trial.

The court heard she had armed herself with a hammer and threatened police officers with it during the incident.

She was sentenced on Thursday to nine months in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Gwawr Thomas, for Justin, said the defendant had no previous convictions and the incident was ‘out of character’.

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