A Bridport man who tried to light a fire at the Bridport Hotel with the intention of burning alive an enemy will spend six months in Risdon Prison.
Michael Wayne Kelb, 43, pleaded guilty to attempted arson on June 12 this year.
Crown prosecutor Jennifer Slevin said Kelb had fallen out with a man who lived at the hotel and had an ongoing exchange of abusive and threatening text messages.
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She said Kelb had been drinking heavily when he started stewing over threats made by the man, including one to burn his mother's house down.
He drove to the hotel and walked up internal stairs and knocked on the door of the man's room, but there was no answer and he left.
He returned at 10pm carrying a five-litre jerry can of petrol with a small measuring cup.
When a female staff member called out he replied: "You're not going to be lucky tonight".
He poured petrol into the cup and poured it over the door to the room.
On the stairs, he left the jerry can with a piece of paper burning in the spout.
A man grabbed the burning paper took it outside and extinguished it.
In sentencing, Justice Robert Pearce remarked that but for the actions of a quick thinking person who extinguished the wick, the consequences could have been terrible.
"It was 10pm on a Saturday night so there were likely to be patrons in the bar and the result could have been death or serious injury," he said.
"You were prepared to put them in danger to achieve your aim."
When police arrested the man he blew 0.154 on the breathalyser.
He told police he wanted to kill the c*** by burning the hotel down."
Defence counsel Lucy Flanagan sought a suspended sentence saying that Kelb's intention was to scare rather than harm the man.
She said that Kelb had requested that the man delete his details, but had continued to contact him.
"He accepts he consumed too much alcohol," she said.
The court heard he had three convictions under the Road Safety (Alcohol and Drugs) Act.
Justice Pearce said that his antagonism to the man had overcome him.
"Excessive consumption of alcohol is not a mitigating factor although it is relevant that no damage occurred," he said.
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He said that while it was unlikely Kelb would do "something like this again", there was a need to punish his behaviour and deter other people who may be like-minded.
He sentenced Kelb to 18 months' jail, but suspended 12 months for two years from release on the condition that he commit no imprisonable offence.
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