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Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a man and a woman have been sentenced in connection with an arson conspiracy in Slough.
On Friday (3/3) Noor Fatima, aged 24, of Chalvey Road West, was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment after being found guilty by unanimous jury verdict of one count of conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger life.
Gufran Ahmed, aged 27, of The Frithe, pleaded guilty to the same offence and was sentenced to eight years and nine months’ imprisonment.
In July 2019, Fatima was dismissed from her job at Empire Cinema. Then, on 1 December 2019, Fatima bought five litres of petrol and made her way to the cinema.
Ahmed, who still worked there, let her in through a fire exit door. Fatima then poured the petrol over the fire exit, which was behind two screens on the top floor.
She then left to buy a lighter and returned to the cinema, however she did not set the petrol alight and left the cinema.
Due to the smell of the petrol, around 150 customers had to be evacuated from the cinema. No-one was injured.
Fatima was arrested on 2 December 2019 and Ahmed was arrested on 5 February 2020.
They were both charged on 12 December 2020.
Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Thomas Harman, based at Slough police station, said: “Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of Fatima and Ahmed’s actions. If the petrol had ignited, people would have rushed to the fire exit only to find that’s where the fire was and could have sustained serious injuries as a result.
“Fatima and Ahmed will now spend a significant amount of time in prison, reflecting how serious this incident could have been.
“Thanks to the cinema staff and members of the fire service, no-one was injured.”