A serial arsonist caused millions of pounds worth of damage in Rushcliffe after repeatedly trying to burn a business to the ground.
Omar Omar deliberately set fires at a car dealership in Gunthorpe on four separate occasions after developing a vendetta against the business.
Extensive damage was caused to buildings and cars alike at the Lowdham Road-based garage during the series of arsons, which all took place between January 2022 and the end of December 2022.
The final attack on the business happened in the early hours of Christmas Day when two portacabins were set alight, with this taking place just minutes before a separate premises – a service station on the A46 in Cropwell Bishop – was also destroyed by a fire.
Car wash owner Omar was responsible for causing both fires, which were fuelled by revenge as part of ongoing issues he had with the people behind both companies.
The 40-year-old’s own business was based at the same site as the car dealership he targeted on Christmas Day 2022, with this arson following an unsuccessful attempt by Omar to set fire to the building on 8 January 2022.
He would try again a week later on 15 January, with the fire he lit this time completely destroying a building next to the car forecourt, while also damaging a number of vehicles that were up for sale in the process.
Three cars at the site, along with an office building, were then set on fire during a separate arson attack that damaged the newly renovated property several months later on 7 August.
Each of the arsons at the car dealership, as well as the separate fire two miles away at the A46 service station, resulted in an estimated £4.5 million worth of damage, when adding up the total repair costs with multiple months of lost earnings.
Omar was ultimately linked to the attacks after forensic work carried out as part of a Nottinghamshire Police-led investigation resulted in his DNA being found on a hammer left at the scene of one of the fires.
A charred jacket resembling the one that was pictured on CCTV being worn by the perpetrator of the Christmas Day fires was also found hidden in a bag behind a freezer in Omar’s home.
Faced with the mounting evidence against him, Omar, who had previously denied any wrongdoing, pleaded guilty to four counts of arson and one count of attempted arson in court on 10 August 2023.
Omar, of Charlbury Court, Bramcote, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Friday (22 September), where he was jailed for 12 years.
Detective Constable Chloe Baugh, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“Omar’s actions were reckless in the extreme and motivated by revenge and his intention to try and destroy the livelihoods of other business owners he was having issues with.
“Sadly, his behaviour resulted in his victims losing out on substantial amounts of money and being put through months of anguish, with his decision to target one business over and over again making their lives an absolute misery.
“As rightly summed up in the victim impact statements read out in court, Omar’s decision to deliberately light these fires was vindictive and evil, and he has shown a staggering lack of contrition since.
“On top of that, by doing what he did, not once but four different times, he put everyone who was in the area on those occasions in serious danger of harm, which could quite easily have resulted in catastrophic consequences.
“Arson is an incredibly serious crime, precisely for that reason, so we were pleased to see Omar handed this substantial sentence.”