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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Petrol bomb attacker given life
Shae Thomas, pictured before the attack
Shae has been left with permanent scarring
A disgruntled customer who threw a petrol bomb into a Birmingham clothes store, badly burning a six-year-old Bristol girl, has been jailed for life.

Asa Lawrence, 25, of Merridale Road, Wolverhampton, was convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent over the incident at TK Maxx in August 2004.

He had returned in a rage after a row there the day before. Shae Thomas was permanently scarred by the attack.

The judge said Lawrence should not be given parole for at least seven years.

Baseball bat

Judge David Matthews added that the defendant was a "dangerous young man" and that the offence - committed on 27 August at the store in Perry Barr - had been an evil act.

The double glazing salesman had been cleared of attempting to murder the girl following his trial at Birmingham Crown Court in May this year.

Asa Lawrence
Lawrence was cleared of attempting to murder the girl
He admitted causing an explosion likely to endanger life, and causing bodily injury by explosion to both Shae and her mother, 27-year-old Cherra Johnson.

The girl was showered in flaming petrol and underwent four skin grafts during a five-week stay in hospital following the attack.

Lawrence told the court he had not meant to hurt anybody.

The court heard about his previous convictions, which included causing criminal damage and assaulting a police officer, and an incident in which he hit a member of staff with a metal baseball bat when he was not able to see the manager.




SEE ALSO:
Man guilty over shop petrol bomb
12 May 05 |  West Midlands
Shop bomber blames attack on rage
11 May 05 |  West Midlands
Girl hurt by 'revenge fire-bomb'
10 May 05 |  West Midlands


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