Jersey car arsonist with 'appalling' criminal history jailed

A Jersey man jailed for torching a stolen car had an "appalling" history of criminal convictions.

Christopher Michael Thomas, 28, had only been out of prison for three months when he stole the Saab 900 XS in St Helier on 28 June.

He and 25 year-old passenger Christopher Marco Pereira took it to Grainville School and set it alight.

Thomas was jailed for two-and-a-half years after he and Pereira admitted a total of nine offences.

The offences also included illegal entry and larceny, taking a motor vehicle and maliciously setting fire to property.

The Royal Court heard the pair had stolen the car from a compound at Jersey Gas Stores.

Community service

They were later arrested after being caught by Jersey Police carrying tools taken from the car.

Thomas, who was unemployed, had been released from prison in March and had a string of previous convictions, the court heard.

Two other vehicles, a Daihatsu Hijet van and a Vauxhall Tigra Bermuda Coupe, were damaged as a result of the fire.

The Saab belonged to a family friend of Pereira's and was a write-off.

Thomas had been in custody since he was charged on 29 June.

Pereira was given 180 hours of community service for offences including common assault after spitting at a parking officer on a separate occasion.

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