A man crashed a car into a police station before attempting to set the building on fire in a grudge attack after local officers failed to find his stolen car.
Adam Pawlowski, 46, of Bury Street, Enfield, caused “shock, disbelief and fear” after slamming his car into the doors of Edmonton Police Station on 11 November last year, having planned the attack for more than two years.
He then left the car and threw petrol at Edmonton police station in north London, before scattering it around the pavement and on the road, then setting it alight.
At a hearing on Thursday at Wood Green Crown Court, Judge Barbara Mensah sentenced Pawlowski to an indefinite hospital order and disqualified him from driving for 12 months with requirement to take an extended vehicle test.
Pawlowski had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to dangerous driving, criminal damage and attempted arson reckless to life being endangered.
A charge of attempted arson with intent to endanger life was left to lie on file.
The incident occurred at about 7pm on 11 November 2020 after a car slammed into the doors of the station before the driver revved the engines, filling the front office with smoke.
Pawlowski then got out of the car and retrieved a canister of petrol from the back of the car before setting the vehicle alight.
He was tackled by a member of the public before police officers moved in shortly after.
Staff were evacuated from Edmonton police station and nearby residents were told to leave their homes as the incident unfolded.
London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service attended and no injuries were reported, Metropolitan Police said.
Pawlowski was taken into custody and told officers he had been planning the incident for around two-and-a-half years, choosing the date and time because the numbers one and seven were personally significant to him.
The court heard that Pawlowski held a grudge against the police due to previous interactions including one in which his car was stolen and never found after an investigation.
Chief Superintendent Simon Crick, head of policing for Haringey and Enfield, said: “When shown parts of the footage during police interview, Pawlowski laughed. But the actions he took that day could have had devastating consequences.
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“The officers who responded were confronted with a chaotic and frightening scenario but acted with the utmost courage and bravery to swiftly detain Pawlowski.
“Following the incident, support was provided to the staff who man our front counter, who were going about their work when this distressing ordeal unfolded. Very luckily, no one was injured.
“The member of the public who helped apprehend Pawlowski left the scene and was never traced, despite extensive efforts. I’d like to extend our thanks to them for their bravery in assisting my officers.”
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