Echo Wednesday January 19, 2011
Scared mum: Who keeps setting doorstep on fire? By LAURA SMITH Crime reporter email@example.com
A MOTHER is terrified to sleep in her own home because she fears arsonists will burn it down.
Firebugs have repeatedly targeted her front door in Pamplins, Basildon, using newspaper drenched in paraffin. They have struck three times since December 6 and always wait until she goes to bed at night and turns the lights off. Luckily it has only left scorch damage so far, but she is worried next time it could be more serious. The woman, who does not want to be named, said: “My life is at stake. Someone must be watching the lights go out, and I can’t go to
❑ Woman can’t sleep at night for fear of flames ❑ She has no idea who could want to harm her bed any more because it’s unnerved me.” The last attack happened at about 11.30pm on Saturday, when she woke to see flames outside her front door. She said: “My dog started barking and I looked out of the window. “There was a blaze on my doorstep, so I couldn’t sleep after that. “I had to get up at eight for work and do a split shift, and I was like a zombie. I broke down at work.” Beer bottles have also been thrown at the back of her house,
which appear to have been aimed at her security light. She is now preparing to install CCTV in a bid to catch the yobs in the act – and act as a deterrent to further attacks. “It’s almost like some vendetta,” the woman said. “But I’ve got no enemies. There’s no one I don’t get on with. It’s just really weird.” Pc Leigh Day, of Laindon police, said: “This is an extremely dangerous thing to do, as the fire could’ve spread and potentially endangered lives. “If you know who did this, or you saw anything at the time, I appeal to your conscience to contact police.” Anyone with any information can call Laindon police station on 0300 3334444 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
CCTV PLAN IS SCUPPERED THE woman’s concerned boyfriend installed a camera in the hope it would catch the culprits – but was told to pull it down. The 40-year-old man decided to install the camera on Sunday, hours after the last arson attack. But police told him to move it because it over-looked a public footpath. He said: “I was doing my best to protect my girlfriend, because whoever did this needs to be arrested and locked up. “I put this covert camera in
there. It’s a hidden one, but you can see the red light on it. “I did that for the greater good, it was trying to catch the culprits. “I thought I was doing the right thing, but there are so many laws governing it that it almost protects the criminals.” Laura Anderson, spokewoman for Essex Police, said: “Police issued words of advice to the victim about the direction of a CCTV camera upon attending the arson incident.” She said the camera pointed outwards, rather than at the victim’s own property.
Tariq’s top result on instructor’s tough test A DRIVING instructor scored the highest grade when he stepped into his pupils’ shoes to have his own skills tested. Tariq Musaji, 43, who runs Farrah Driving Training, in Wickford, got an A in the Cardington Special Test for approved driving instructors, in Bedfordshire. To gain the outstanding mark, he had to commit less than three minor faults during a 90-minute practical exam, which scrutinised his handling of controls, manoeuvres, use of correct road procedure, anticipation of other road users’ actions and judgment. He only got two minor marks – examiners told Tariq it was rare for a driver to achieve a grade A on the first attempt. Mr Musaji, who lives in London Road, Billericay, said: “I knew I’d passed, but I wasn’t sure I’d got a grade A. I was elated because I’ve achieved the ultimate now.” He thinks it is important for instructors to regularly test their skills and keep up-to-date.
■ Well qualified – driving instructor Tariq Musaji with his certificate
Picture: PAUL WATSON