Clubber jailed for shirt fire attack

Boleyns nightclub where the attack happened.
Boleyns nightclub where the attack happened.

A MAN who set fire to a fellow clubber’s shirt in Scarborough’s Boleyns has been jailed.

David Smith, 27 of Borough Road in Bridlington, appeared before York Crown Court for sentencing on previously admitted charges of inflicting actual bodily harm and assaulting a police officer.

Simon Whalley, prosecuting, told how the victim, Phillip Able, had been visiting Scarborough to celebrate his brother’s upcoming wedding.

He and his friends ended the night in Boleyns nightclub in the early hours of November 27, last year.

Mr Able, from Cleveland, was standing with his brother at the bar in the club when he suddenly felt heat on his back.

After realizing that the back of his shirt was on fire, Mr Able and his brother were able to pat out the flames, but not before he suffered blistering to his lower back and hands.

An immediate inspection of the club’s CCTV revealed that the person stood behind Mr Able when his shirt went up was Smith.

As a result Smith was arrested, but became aggressive, kicking out and injuring a female police officer’s hand.

In a Victim Impact Statement, read out at the hearing, Mr Able said that as a result of the incident he felt a different person, having lost confidence and not being able to understand why he was picked out for this type of behaviour.

Taryn Turner, mitigating, said that Smith was unable to remember what did happen because of the alcohol he had consumed.

She added that he didn’t recall lighting Mr Able’s shirt, or why or how he had done it, but had to accept that he had been the only person in a position to have done it.

Mrs Turner said that her client had been having relationship problems and was desperate to be at his young son’s side when he went for an operation in June.

Passing sentence at the hearing, which was held on Smith’s birthday, The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said that the consequences of what Smith had done could have been far more serious. He jailed Smith for nine months.