In November 2016, Nur Islam grew angered at having to wait in line for service at at the Commonwealth Bank in Springvale in Melbourne‘s southeast, so he started a fire which destroyed the branch and burned himself as well as staff and customers.
Daily Mail (h/t SaraS) Islam originally faced 108 charges for the November 2016 arson attack, but successful negotiation by his lawyer saw 97 of these dropped. The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including four counts of arson with the intent to endanger life.
He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars on Friday, with the judge describing the attack as ‘bizarre and callous’, Seven News reported.
Islam poured petrol in the doorway of the branch before lighting it, causing a large fire and creating ‘pandemonium’ as customers and staff stampeded to escape, Melbourne Magistrates Court was told in September.
Lawyer Barnaby Johnston said his client admitted setting fire to the bank but never intended to hurt anyone. Subsequently Islam pleaded not guilty to 33 of the charges of intentionally causing injury and serious injury. Dozens of people were treated for burns after the blaze, police say.
A DVD was played to the court made up of footage from five CCTV cameras inside the bank, where terrified patrons can be seen running away from fireballs.
However, Mr Johnston said close examination of the footage showed Islam pouring petrol onto the floor, stepping in the centre of the puddle and appearing to have ‘deliberately lit himself’.
‘He suffered the most significant and catastrophic injuries as a result of this incident,’ the lawyer said, adding that Islam then spent four months in hospital with burns to 60 per cent of his body.