Racist pours petrol on neighbour before setting off fireworks

A racist neighbour poured petrol over the Polish man next door, terrifying him and his wife before lighting a match.

Charles Gilbert, 54, had taken against the young couple from the moment they moved in, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

He splashed the fuel from a jerry can all over Piotr Knap, drenching him, then set off fireworks as the terrified victim watched, shaking from a window.

“That was part and parcel of the terror” Judge Stephen Hopkins QC told Gilbert as he jailed him for 16 months.

“If one of those fireworks had gone off near a man doused in petrol, he would have burst into flames.”

Prosecutor Gareth James said the petrol had gone into Mr Knap’s eyes, burning them but that was nothing to the emotional suffering of both he and his wife Marzena.

“They had only just bought their house but now want to move” he told the court.

“It was a terrifying experience which has greatly affected their quality of life in their own home”.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Knap said he just couldn’t get his head round the fact that a neighbour could behave in such a way.

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