She had a grudge against her mother-in-law so hired a man to torch her car

Alisha Anwar
-Credit: (Image: North Wales Police)

A woman who had a grudge against her mother-in-law hired a man to set her car ablaze. The night-time fire in a car park spread to two other vehicles and a building.

Mold Crown Court heard that Alisha Anwar, 29, felt her mother-in-law didn't consider her "good enough" for her son. As a result, she paid Luke Williams, 25, to ignite the vehicle at a block of flats in Wrexham.

In court today, a judge said it "almost beggared belief" that Williams had purchased petrol from a garage one night, filled a jerry can with it, and then targeted the parked car owned by Christina Place. It took two fire crews an hour and a half to control the blaze during the "terrifying" incident, the court heard.

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Williams, from Gwenfro, Wrexham, admitted conspiracy to commit arson. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison, with an additional eight months activated from a suspended sentence to run consecutively, reports North Wales Live.

Prosecutor Oliver King stated that on June 21 or 22, 2022, defendant Williams and his then-partner Morwenna Evans were in their car when they gave Anwar a lift. Ms Evans overheard Anwar asking Williams if he would blow up a car for payment.

Ms Evans dismissed it as mere "bravado", believing Williams wouldn't be "stupid enough" to go through with it. However, four days later, Williams was caught on CCTV at a petrol station, filling up a jerry can around 6pm. By 12:30am on June 25th, he was spotted near Brunel Court carrying a carrier bag, returning home 15 minutes later without it.

A car belonging to Ms Place was parked in the communal car park of her residence at Brunel Court, Wrexham. Around 1am, her dogs starting barking and upon investigation, she noticed an "orange glow" by the fence panel adjacent to her vehicle. It wasn't long before she realised her car had been set alight.

The fire rapidly spread, engulfing three cars and a fence within the vicinity. Such was the intensity of the heat that the guttering, fascia boards and window frames started to melt on a neighbouring property owned by an Ashley Lewis.

The costs for the repairs, which included a new window installation, amounted to £3,660. Firefighters spent close to an hour and a half combatting the blazes. In the aftermath, a bottle of petrol was found beneath Ms Place's torched car, according to prosecutor Mr King.

Mr King said: "Clearly had that been heated to boiling point by the car fire it could have exploded. Fortunately it did not."

All of the cars suffered extensive damage from the fire. Robin Davies, owner of one of the affected vehicles, faced the inconvenience of being without transportation for work and school run responsibilities. Another car was also ruined in the blaze.

Mr King said Morwenna Evans realised Williams was involved and was so worried she ended their relationship and told police. Officers found Williams searched "arson punishment UK" online. He also said to an acquaintance that Ms Evans had "ratted him out", a reference to her telling the police.

Mr King said initially the defendant denied arson and claimed just to be "out for a jog" on the night of the incident. Myles Wilson, defending, pointed out that his client, who was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness, had been homeless for a time and had lived in a tent.

Later he bought a car on credit which he should not have done and got into financial difficulties. He succumbed to desperation for money that led him to agree "stupidly" to partake in the arson plot, although it was not for substantial funds.

He might have autism and ADHD and struggles with loud, bustling environments. He wears headphones while working as a car valeter and has been "dreading" the sentencing hearing, said Mr Wilson.

The judge, His Honour Niclas Parry, told Williams: "The public will understand the inherent dangerousness of setting fire to a car near dwelling houses. Arson is always a very serious offence."

Indeed, firefighters risk their lives when they tackle such incidents. He said the specifics of this case were "frankly staggering" and said Ms Anwar pursued revenge on her mother-in-law.

"Unbelievably, you took up an offer to blow up or petrol bomb her car for £150", under conditions that "almost beggar belief", the judge added. Such an act would have been "terrifying" for local residents.

Jailing Williams at a time when crowded prison conditions are "perhaps the most difficult they have been in two decades", the judge also imposed a two-year restraining order prohibiting the defendant from contacting Ms Place or Ms Evans or going to Brunel Court.

Last week Alisha Anwar, 29, of The Oval, Pentre Maelor, Wrexham, was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment for the same offence and was handed a similar restraining order.

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