Belfast Telegraph

Accused threatened to torch police, trial told

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man accused of endangering police officers by setting fire to a PSNI car while bare-chested and carrying a can of petrol has gone on trial.

James McLaughlin (32) is also charged with trying to set fire to a second car, issuing threats to kill and possessing a hurley bat with the intention of assaulting police.

McLaughlin, from Glenshane Road in Feeney, Co Londonderry, denies all five charges.

Belfast Crown Court heard four officers in two cars responded to a call on September 8, 2012. They parked outside the McLaughlin home where they noticed the bare-chested defendant holding a hurling stick and a petrol can.

He is alleged to have ignited petrol fumes, which caught fire briefly then burned out. He then walked towards the officers and started to throw petrol at them.

The jury heard they were so concerned that they drew their weapons.

McLaughlin allegedly said: "I will set all of yous on fire."

One officer administered CS spray, which initially seemed ineffective. But the officer then kicked McLaughlin's thigh, causing him to fall over, and he was arrested.

At hearing.

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