Man poured petrol on victim ‘to scare him’

By Beth Sharp Friday 07 February 2014 Updated: 07/02 10:50

A REDDITCH man poured petrol over another man’s head in a bid to scare him, a court heard.

Russell Lee Danks, 19 and of Ryton Close in Matchborough, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating, two counts of criminal damage, possession of a knife in a public place and possession of cannabis, at Redditch Magistrates’ Court on Monday (February 3).

The court heard how on Christmas Eve last year, Danks was in a Redditch bar when he had a disagreement with Jago Simmons, his ex-girlfriend’s sister’s partner.

Then, in the early hours of Christmas Day, Danks entered a property in Bushley Close, Woodrow through unlocked patio doors.

Mr Simmons said he was sat on his own in the living room when Danks walked in and without saying a word poured petrol over his head and shoulders.

He claimed Danks then pulled a flame proof lighter out, lit it and began to wave it around.

While in a struggle to grab Danks’ hand Mr Simmons said the lighter disappeared.

He alleged three other people then entered the room and Danks pulled a knife from his pocket. One of them tried to disarm Danks and suffered a cut to his thumb in the process.

Danks said he had never got on with Mr Simmons because he had previously caused trouble and made threats towards him and his family. He added the reason he went around to the house, on that night, was because Mr Simmons had called him threating to hurt his three-month-old daughter who he claimed was at the address with him.

Danks said he went to start a row and scare Mr Simmons into leaving him and his family alone and on his way there, decided to pick up a bottle from a recycle bin and fill it with petrol from a motorbike he passed.

He said he went into the back garden of the property and found a bread knife before entering the home.

Once in the living room Danks poured petrol over Mr Simmons’ head while he was sitting there with a friend.

Danks added, within a few seconds, he had been pinned down and denied ever having a lighter.

The defence told the court the witness who claimed she was sat next to Mr Simmons during the incident never saw a lighter.

He added none of the other witnesses had mentioned a lighter either.

Magistrates said they could not prove beyond reasonable doubt Danks had a lighter but as he had pleaded guilty to possessing the knife, he would be sent to crown court for sentencing.

Danks was remanded in custody and is due to appear at Worcester Crown Court on March 7.

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