A bungling British Army soldier has been kicked out of the military after admitting arson and causing £1,600 in damage when he tried getting high off his own boot polish.
28-year-old Lance Corporal David Thomas accidentally set off a fire at Tidworth Garrison in Wiltshire when he smelled the fumes of the burning Tin and became disoriented.
He didn’t know that the boots were set on fire by the polish, which ignited a couch in his common area. This set off the smoke alarm, and forced fellow squaddies into extinguishing the flames with a fire extinguisher.
LCpl Thomas admitted causing £1,600 worth of damage after setting the sofa ablaze and ‘scorching’ the carpet and has now been dismissed from the Army after pleading guilty to arson.
Bulford Military Court (Wilts) heard the following: The incident occurred in Tidworth Garrison, January 2020, when LCpl Thomas tried to use the polish.
Some shoe polishes have been classified as “dangerous goods” because of their high flammability. They can also release toxic fumes from a light source.
28-year-old Lance Corporal David Thomas became confused after inhaling fumes from the burning Tin. He dropped the Tin on the Tidworth Garrison floor, Wiltshire.
Unbeknownst To LCpl Thomas (pictured), the boot polish ignited a sofa in the Common Room where he had set it on fire at Tidworth Garrison. This set off the smoke alarm prompting fellow Squaddies to use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
Major John Griffiths (prosecutor) explained the potential dangers of this situation.
He said that Tidworth Garrison’s service-live-in accommodation block was where the fire started.
LCpl. Thomas was still living on the block at the time. He went to the first floor common room and set fire to the shoe polish to obtain a legal high.
“He ignited it in the tin, became confused and fell to the ground.
The smoke began erupting from his sofa and he was able to return upstairs, but in a cloud of confusion.
According to Eyewitnesses, Thomas was reported by eyewitnesses as ‘acting suspiciously’ and having removed his shoe polish.
Maj Griffiths added: ‘During interview he explained he had tried to get high and should have checked on what had happened.
‘In terms of damage the cost totals £1,625.11.’
‘Reckless’ LCpl Thomas smiles as he is dismissed from the British Army after admitting arson and causing £1,600 worth of damage
Bulford Military court, Wiltshire (pictured), heard the story that Thomas used the polish to get high and took place at Tidworth Garrison.
Judge Alistair McGrigor disregarded the’reckless soldier’ and stated to him that he was in a troubled mind because of both his personal and professional lives.
You decided to do some drug testing in your room.
You became confused and dropped the Tin on the Floor. It scorched the floors and an old couch.
“Fortunately, the fire was extinguished and it was discovered. But, your reckless actions were evident.
The Army will not tolerate your behavior or the consequences that could result. You and I must end our relationship.
“We’ve considered the possibility of a compensation order, but have seen damaged goods, which looked very worn, and were informed that we are out of money.
Andrew Stone, defending the Court martial LCpl. Toms said that he’d found a new job in a garage and was excited to start a new life.
Despite calls for a compensation order to be made from Maj Griffiths, the court heard LCpl had little more than ‘£10’ to his name and was also the subject of an Individual Voluntary Arrangement to pay off his debts.
He was discharged from the army and issued an 18-month community order.