Ar­son­ist wanted to ‘burn some­thing’

Fire­bug torches po­lice car and large bush, watches emer­gency ser­vices re­spond and then hands him­self in

Bay of Plenty Times - - Front Page - San­dra Conchie con­tin­ued on A2

I have been think­ing about burn­ing some­thing for a while. An­drew Downs, ar­son­ist

‘Ileft home want­ing to burn some­thing. I saw a po­lice car and knew that was it.” That is what An­drew Trevor Downs told a po­lice of­fi­cer when he handed him­self in at the Tau­ranga Cen­tral Po­lice Station af­ter set­ting fire to a po­lice pa­trol car and a large bush.

Downs, 26, pleaded guilty to a charge of ar­son when he ap­peared in the Tau­ranga District Court yes­ter­day by an au­dio­vi­sual link from prison.

The ad­mit­ted charge car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of 14 years’ prison.

The po­lice sum­mary of facts de­scribes how the drama un­folded in the early hours of Novem­ber 4 this year.

About 3.16am Downs was driv­ing along Pa¯ pa¯ moa Beach Rd af­ter trav­el­ling from his home in Tau­ranga city to Pa¯pa¯moa “pur­posely” look­ing for some­thing to set fire to.

Downs spot­ted a marked po­lice pa­trol car parked in front of the Pa¯pa¯moa Po­lice Station and next to it was a po­lice of­fi­cer in an­other marked po­lice ve­hi­cle.

He drove to some nearby shops and waited un­til the of­fi­cer had left the area. Downs re­turned to the po­lice station and parked out­side on the road.

Downs then re­moved a petrol con­tainer stored in the boot of his car and grabbed some long bar­be­cue matches from the front pas­sen­ger seat and walked up to the pa­trol car.

Af­ter splash­ing some of the petrol over the rear wind­screen and boot of the pa­trol car, he stood back, struck one of the matches and threw it onto the pa­trol car.

Photo / File

A Tau­ranga man set fire to a po­lice pa­trol car parked next to the Pa¯ pa¯ moa Po­lice Station.

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