Fire-bomber blew himself up targeting rival Edinburgh biker group
A thug who lobbed Molotov cocktails at a bikers' clubhouse causing a massive explosion has been jailed for three years.
Adam Andrews, 35, was seriously injured and rushed to hospital after the blaze destroyed the property in Moredun, Edinburgh, in August 2018 and also damaged an electricity sub station.
He was found by firefighters in the wreckage with a broken leg, a broken back and a collapsed lung.
At the High Court in Glasgow judge Lord Beckett told Andrews, who appeared via a videolink: “You suffered serious injuries but they were entirely self-inflicted. You have expressed remorse and are considered a low risk of re-offending.
“However, this was a serious crime. It was pre-meditated and planned.
“You threw Molotov cocktails onto the building which caused an explosion.
“You did this while the building was empty and you knew it was empty, but you created a risk to others. The explosion also damaged a nearby electrical sub-station.”
Father-of-two Andrews, of Glasgow, denied wilful fire-raising at the garage at Moredun Park on August 11 and 12, 2018, while acting with another, but was found guilty after trial.
The fire caused the collapse of the garage and damaged a telephone pole and a nearby sub station, causing a mass outage.
The cost of demolishing the garage was estimated at £138,000 and the damage to the sub-station at £43,000.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that hours before the blaze a mob, including masked and armed individuals, turned up at the lockup and tried to force their way in. Witnesses at the scene described 20 men with their faces covered brandishing weapons amid what is believed to have been a clash between rival biker gangs.
Andrews and an accomplice later went back and lobbed petrol bombs at the building.
Andrews was on the roof of the building when it collapsed.
Defence counsel Susan Duff said: “This was an act of madness and utter stupidity. He thought his actions would have resulted in minimal damage to the building. He never thought it would cause the damage it did.”
The garage was rented by a group from a motorcycle club, who aimed to turn it into their club house.
As part of renovations an eight foot high fence was erected and a reinforced door was installed at the premises.
There was CCTV footage, which was shown to the jury, of Molotov cocktails being thrown at the building.
Andrews during his trial denied setting the blaze and claimed he had been inside the clubhouse before the blast and had passed out after drinking five or six bottles of beer in an hour.
He said he did not wake up until the explosion and said he had managed to get out despite suffering a broken leg and collapsed lung.
Traces of petrol or a petrol-based substance were found on his clothing.