A man has been jailed after throwing a Molotov cocktail at a driver in a row over a bad break-up.
Keelan Dickens was a passenger in a car when he ‘hunted down’ his victim, forcing him to pull up abruptly.
The 19-year-old leapt out from the back seat and hurled a burning bottle of fuel at the man’s car, engulfing it in flames.
The victim and two passengers inside the car were not hurt during the fire attack in September 2017, but he told the court: ‘I thought I was going to die.’
He said he believed he was targeted because of a previous bad break-up with an ex-girlfriend.
Dickens, now aged 23, originally told police he had nothing to do with the petrol bomb, and denied even being in the car at the time.
But he was found guilty of arson while being reckless as to whether life was endangered last November.
At St Albans Crown Court yesterday, Dickens, of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, said he has missed out ‘on some of the best years’ of his daughter’s life while in custody.
He told the judge: ‘I understand I have to be punished. My nan always said to me if you can’t do the time, then do not do the crime.
‘But please Your Honour, take into consideration that I was young back then, and I’m now an adult.
‘Please do punish me, but please do not punish those around me.’
Jailing him for three and half years, Judge Foster told him: ‘This was a pre-planned attack on the victim arising out of a dispute over a break up of a relationship.
‘You armed yourself with a Molotov cocktail which you must have prepared.’
But the judge also said there were ‘signs of hope’ that he was ‘maturing and seeing the error of his ways’
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