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Local News

Dad found with petrol bombs as he looked to carry out revenge attack


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A dad plagued by a gang and had his home and car set on fire by its members was found with two petrol bombs while on his way to carry out a revenge attack.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Dennis Ratcliffe and his family had been terrorised by drug dealers associated with his son who is now serving a significant prison sentence.

James Baird, prosecuting, said the 43-year-old was spotted by police officers in a stationary car on Old Mill Lane, in Barnsley, just before midnight on February 6, 2018.

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The officers in the marked police car saw a package being thrown out of the VW Golf he had been driving as they approached.

When they went to recover the items thrown from the car, police found a package containing broken glass, a small piece of cloth and remnants of petrol.

A second similar package was also found nearby.

Two registration plates and a set of gloves smelling strongly of petrol were also discovered in the back of the car Ratcliffe had been driving.

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Despite initially denying he had thrown anything from the car, Ratcliffe later told probation workers that he had made the petrol bombs and intended to set fire to cars in revenge for the arson attack on his own home and cars.

The Recorder Thomas Moran had been handed a letter by a social worker who shed light on the fact that the trouble with the drugs gang had gone away and that Ratcliffe was a role model to his other children.

Mr Moran added that had Ratcliffe carried out the arson attack then he would have been jailed immediately.

Ratcliffe, of Wakefield Road, Barnsley, admitted one count of having an explosive substance and was handed an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He must also carry out 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

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Written by: Rother Radio News

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