Man who threatened to burn down Kensington Town Hall convicted
A disgruntled homeless man who threatened to burn down Kensington Town Hall before covering himself and the floor in petrol has been convicted of attempting to commit arson and threatening to kill staff.
Ako Ahmed started shouting at staff in Kensington Town Hall when he arrived there on the morning of 4 September 2019. He poured petrol over his body and pulled out a lighter, whilst threatening to kill a staff member in the building.
On Thursday 19 November, at Isleworth Crown Court, he admitted attempting to commit arson. He was found guilty in a previous trial of making a threat to kill and threatening to damage property in connection to the same incident.
Ahmed, 45, was unhappy about the progress he was making with his housing officer who was unable to resolve his housing issues in the way that he wanted. He had frequently threatened the officer with arson and had made various threats to staff at the Town Hall since July 2017.
In April 2018 Ahmed had told them that he had mice in his temporary home and went on to say that if the pest control used poison instead of traps, he would stab them. During one phone call in December 2018 he told staff at the Town Hall that none of them would see Christmas.
Rita Ali, from the CPS, said: “This outrageous display made in irritation by Ahmed had the potential to seriously harm a lot of innocent people inside Kensington Town Hall.
“Ahmed had made a series of appointments with his allocated housing officer. Having not been given the news he wanted to hear about his housing situation, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
“He threatened to kill his housing officer and doused himself in petrol before pulling out a lighter.
“In his defence, Ahmed agreed that his behaviour was attention-seeking. However, it was clear that Ahmed’s actions amounted to far more than simply attention-seeking and could have had grave consequences had the security guards not acted so quickly.
“Council workers should not have to put up with this kind of behaviour in the course of their work serving the public. The CPS will always seek to prosecute those who threaten anyone carrying out their public duties.”
Notes to editors
- Ako Ahmed (D.oB.: 01/07/1975) is of no fixed address
- Rita Ali is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Crown Court team at CPS London South.