Man threatened to set himself alight at Shell garage after being refused beer
An Ipswich man has been fined in court after he threatened to set himself alight at a petrol station when he was told he could not buy beer.
Stuart Lambert, 51, arrived at the Shell garage on London Road, Ipswich, by taxi around midnight on Sunday, June 20, Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard.
Lambert tried to purchase some beer from the cashier but was told he could not do so because it was after 11pm, Colette Harper, prosecuting, told the court.
He became abusive towards the cashier and then walked to the petrol pumps and removed a nozzle.
Lambert then dropped the nozzle and started rolling a cigarette while holding a lighter in his hand, Mrs Harper said.
The police were called and other customers at the petrol station managed to wave down a passing police car.
Officers were able to detain Lambert, who still had hold of the lighter and cigarette, and was threatening to pour petrol over himself and set himself alight, Mrs Harper told the court.
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Lambert, of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, who has 67 previous convictions, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to using threatening and abusive words or behaviour.
Magistrates heard there had been concerns over Lambert's mental health and use of alcohol and on June 15, he had sought help from services at Mariner House, Ipswich.
Sue Threadkell, representing Lambert, said it was a "serious" offence that her client wished to apologise for.
She said after a 10-year wait, Lambert had finally started cognitive behavioural therapy.
Ms Threadkell told magistrates: "I'll use his words if I may: 'I hate having my problems but what's worse is that it affects others.'
"He says since this incident, he's only drunk alcohol twice.
"He's waited a long time for this help and he's determined to make the most of it."
Magistrates told Lambert his criminal record was "appalling" and that the incident could have easily "gone out of control".
But they were satisfied Lambert was now receiving help, and sentenced him to a nine-month community order, with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
He was also fined £100, and ordered to pay costs of £105 and a victim surcharge of £95.