Man took petrol canister into takeaway and threatened to set fire to it following 'argument over 10p'

By Lisa O'Brien | Gobowen | Crime | Published:

A man who took a petrol canister into a Gobowen takeaway and threatened to set fire to it following an “argument over 10p” has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Telford Justice Centre

Benjamin Oakley ordered food at The Best Kebab shop but didn’t have enough money to pay for it, Telford Magistrates Court heard.

Ms Sam Morgan, prosecuting, said Oakley lost his temper and threatened staff.

She said he left the takeaway but returned a short time later with a petrol canister.

The court was told he again threatened staff and was overheard to make a racist comment to a member of staff.

His actions were also caught on CCTV.

Ms Morgan said: “It shows at one point he takes the lid off the petrol can and some petrol drips on the floor.”

She said he was also seen fiddling with the cap on the petrol canister.

Police were called and Oakley was arrested.


Ms Morgan told the court the 30-year-old said he had been drinking and that his brother had recently committed suicide.


“He says he doesn’t smoke and he had no means of igniting the petrol in the can,” she said.

He accepted he had been to the takeaway and didn't have enough money.


Oakley, of Old Whittington Road, Gobowen, pleaded guilty to threatening to damage or destroy property on September 16 last year.

Mr Stephen Scully, defending Oakley, said: “He’s a regular customer. This was an argument over 10p.

“It seems all the more bizarre a regular customer could get into this situation over what was 10p.”

He said his client accepted it was a foolish thing to do and that he had been drinking and “reacted disproportionately”.

He said Oakley runs a bricklaying company and had not received any bereavement counselling but was being supported by his parents.

In sentencing, Oakley was told his actions would have caused “some terror” to anyone who had seen him with the petrol canister.

He was given a 12 week prison term, suspended by 12 months, and told to pay £200 compensation each to two members of staff at the takeaway.

He will also have to pay £160 costs.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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