Nicholas Lowe, 56, of Endless Street, Salisbury, appeared at Salisbury Crown Court on August 12 and pleaded guilty to two counts of arson, possession of a bladed article in a public place, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and criminal damage.

He was jailed for a total of five years.

The charges relate to two separate incidents, one in February 2018 and the second in November 2018, including damage to three police cars.

Police were alerted by Wiltshire and Dorset Fire and Rescue at about 3.20am on Saturday, February 24, last year, about a fire in Salisbury’s Central Car Park, close to Sainsbury’s.

Lowe, who was intoxicated, had phoned the fire service to tell them he had started a fire close to the area where rough sleepers were staying.

He had also damaged the wing mirrors of several vehicles, as well as the car park’s ceiling lights, using a wooden bat. Lowe used the bat to damage the bonnet of their police car.

He was arrested and searched and found to be carrying a knife.

On November 17, 2018, while Lowe was released under investigation for the first incident, he set fire to two police cars in College Street Car Park, using an aerosol can and a bottle of white spirit. The estimated cost of the damage caused in the first incident, including the lights and five vehicles, was about £2,000.

Estimated cost of the damage to the two police cars in the second incident was about £5,000.

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