A man who tried to set fire to his neighbour’s flat in Aberdeen in a row over a painted Swastika has been jailed.
Paul Murray, 38, put lit firelighters through his neighbour’s letterbox on Jute Street, Aberdeen, during the early hours of May 12.
Fortunately, his neighbour’s smoke alarm went off and he was able to put out the flames before they took hold.
Murray was then apprehended by police officers but unleashed a sickening tirade of threats to kill officers and their families, “cut off their faces” and “rape their children while holding a knife to their necks”.
Yesterday Murray appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court via video link for sentencing, having previously pled guilty to attempted fireraising, behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and acting in a racially aggravated manner.
Defence agent Mike Monro said: “He has to concede at the age of 38 he’s amassed 12 pages of previous convictions.
“The problem with Mr Murray is that Mr Murray can keep out of trouble for a period of time and then the wheels come off when he reverts back to alcohol and adds to that by taking drugs.”
Mr Monro said his client and his neighbour were “both as good or as bad as each other” and had liked to share a drink together before they had had a “some kind of falling out”.
Sheriff William Summers ordered Murray, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, to be jailed for 27 months and also imposed a 12-month supervised release order.
Fiscal depute Anna Chisholm previously told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “The locus is the home address of the complainer.
“The accused and the complainer are known to each other as neighbours within the block of flats.
“This occurred against the background of the two men falling out over various matters.”
Ms Chisholm said one of the matters they fell out over related to an allegation to which the Crown accepted a plea of not guilty.
It had been alleged Murray vandalised the man’s door with paint, writing “grass” and painting a Swastika, but he was acquitted of that charge.
The fiscal went on: “At 6.45am on May 12 the complainer was home alone when he heard the sound of his letterbox opening.”
Ms Chisholm said he did not initially think anything of this until his fire alarm went off and he “noticed smoke and flames coming from his letterbox”.
The man managed to push the firelighters outside and put out the flames quickly.
Police were contacted and discovered other firelighters and wrappers in Murray’s flat.
However, Ms Chisholm said Murray then “became aggressive and verbally abusive towards officers”.
He called them “pigs” and threatened to spit at them.
Murray’s antics then escalated and he told one officer he would “rape his family and children”.
Ms Chisholm said he made “multiple threats” to kill officers and their families, including threats to “cut their faces off”, to “gauge out their eyes” and to “rape their children while holding a knife to their necks”.
He also made a racial comment toward one officer.