Punter torches betting shop during racing: mitigation plea – “He’s reduced his drinking to 100 pints a week”
A disgruntled punter has been jailed for five years after starting a £100,000 blaze at a Sheffield bookmakers when a gaming machine would not pay out.
Jeffrey Bainbridge, 49, was convinced he had landed a £180 jackpot, but the machine didn’t pay up and he accused the staff of cheating him.
He then stormed off in a rage and returned from his nearby home with a can of petrol, before setting fire to the counter area as terrified staff and customers fled.
A man living in a flat above the premises in City Road had a lucky escape as the blaze took hold.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that Bainbridge, of Arbourthorne Road, had at the time reduced his drinking to 100 pints a week.
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