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22-year-old Amazon worker who sparked £8m fire in online giant's warehouse with cigarette lighte

Culled from Daily Mail

A disgruntled employee who started a fire which spread through an Amazon warehouse causing £8million of damage to stock and the premises has been jailed.

Adris Ali was sentenced to four years in prison at Stafford Crown Court after admitting arson with intent or recklessness as to whether life was endangered.

The court heard he started the fire because he felt 'disrespected' by his team leader after a request for time off due to relationship problems was rejected.

The blaze started when Ali lit a stack of papers at the warehouse in Rugeley, Staffordshire.

Darron Whitehead, prosecuting, told the court the fire had damaged 613,549 units at the site, resulting in a loss of £7.3million in stock. The repair, clean-up and labour costs amounted to a further £745,000.

Ali, pictured at the warehouse, set fire to paper with a cigarette lighter before leaving the scene, causing the building to be evacuated

The alarm broke out on November 4, 2017, and the building - which is 700,000-square feet in size, equivalent to nine-and-a-half football pitches - was evacuated as the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue team dealt with the blaze.

A fire was burning on the third and fourth floors and internal sprinklers had been activated.

Mr Whitehead read witness statements reporting 'large flames quickly growing and spreading between aisles' and 'flames stretching from floor to ceiling.'

Staff had attempted to put the fire out, but after around five minutes made the decision to evacuate.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service investigator, Carl Mason, said the fire was deliberate and that toxic smoke had engulfed the building posing a risk to others.

Management looked at staff rotas and determined that Ali, aged 22, Walsall, was in the aisle at the location and time when the fire started.

Ali, pictured, was jailed for four years today

Mr Whitehead said Ali had admitted setting the fire, saying he had been 'disrespected' by a team leader.

He said he wanted time off due to relationship problems, but the team leader had 'attitude' with him.

He had taken a notebook or paper off a shelf, lit it with a cigarette lighter and walked away.

Ali again admitted his actions following arrest by detectives. He pleaded guilty at Stafford Crown Court on August 21.

The court was told Ali had worked as a picker for Amazon for around three months at the time of the incident.

Robert Cowley, defending, said Ali's actions were entirely out of character and he had made an early admission of guilt.

Mr Cowley added: 'It was a huge loss sustained but the defendant did not intend this level of loss.'

Judge Michael Chambers, sentencing, told Ali: 'You put a lot of people at risk and caused a lot of damage. A fire such as this puts lives at genuine risk.'

Detective Constable Andrew Shorthouse, of Staffordshire Police, said it was fortunate the recklessness of Ali's actions had not resulted in more grave consequences.

My view: The man is arrogant, he should have been given 10 years. He Worked there for only 3 months wanted time off for relationships problems and felt disrespected! what a joke, he destroyed items worth millions, for such a stupid reason. I wonder how many people he's disrespected.

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