Arsonist launched petrol bombs at Huntingdon police station's open windows

  • The blast from the petrol bombs was caught on doorbell camera

An arsonist who left police officers fearing for their lives as he launched Molotov cocktails at the open window of a police station has been jailed for 12 years.

Footage released by Cambridgeshire Police shows the blast caused by the petrol bombs thrown by 31-year-old Voldemaras Rimasauskas, and then a figure running from the scene.

Officers were targeted "as the blazing bottles came hurtling towards” Huntingdon police station in Cambridgeshire in 2022, a detective said.

The petrol bombs fell short of the window but caused significant scorch damage outside, Cambridgeshire Police said.

At the time of the attack, on 9 December 2022, there were custody staff, response officers and three detainees inside the building.

The defendant, of no fixed address, admitted arson with intent to endanger life and was sentenced on Thursday at Huntingdon Law Courts to 12 years in prison, Cambridgeshire Police said.

Damage done by the petrol bombs is visible on the walls of the police station. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

Det Insp Gordon Blair said: “At the time of the incident there were several officers within the building and arrested people in the cells.

“Three officers were in the rear office where the attack occurred and genuinely feared for their lives as the blazing bottles came hurtling towards the station.

“If one of the petrol bombs had made it through the window, the whole station could have gone up in flames.

“Getting to court has taken months of hard work, dedication and detective work and I am glad justice has been done.

“I hope Rimasauskas has time to reflect on his reckless actions, which could have resulted in tragedy.”

Officers found the remains of socks – used as wicks to light the bombs – so visited local shops and petrol stations in the area to search CCTV footage of people buying these items.

They identified Rimasauskas as having bought the socks and fuel within days of each other.

Scenes of crimes officers managed to locate an old DNA sample from a different force taken years ago and compared this to the socks left at the scene.

This gave a match for Rimasauskas.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “Officers and staff undertake policing duties in the full knowledge that when on patrol they may face danger, however what they do not expect is that their personal safety should be compromised when they are within the confines of their physical place of work.

“It should be remembered that police officers and staff are people, they are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

“When they are attacked they become victims just like any other, but victims who have been attacked while trying to protect others.

“It cannot be lost on anyone the impact if those petrol bombs had ignited within the building.

“It is also important to highlight that at the time of the attack custody was operational and there were three detainees, custody staff and response officers inside the building.

“This could have severely injured any of the officers, staff and custody detainees, or worse, there was a very real prospect of death.

“Attacks such as these are thankfully rare, but nevertheless the impact has far-reaching effects not just within policing but across the communities who hold their police stations and officers close to their hearts.”

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