A man has been sentenced to three and half years prison for arson recklessly endangering life after he set fire to an ice cream van.
Javed Lal, 43 years, from Arundel Road, Luton was arrested on April 19 at Heathrow Airport as he tried to leave the country.
Lal was wanted by Bedfordshire Police in connection with the ice cream van blaze which happened at a property in Oakley Road, Luton on April 2nd.
He was caught trying to leave the country the day before he was due to speak to officers at Luton Police Station in connection with the investigation.
He appeared before Luton Crown Court on July 9 when he pleaded guilty to the charge and on Wednesday, at the same court, he was sentenced to three and half years imprisonment.
Speaking after the sentencing, the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Constable Helen Howson, said: "This incident could have ended in a family, including small children, being seriously injured, as the fire was so hot it caused significant damage to the windows at the front of the property forcing the family to take refuge in the back garden where they were trapped until the Fire Service were able to extinguish the blaze.
"Lal tried to abscond from the UK to Pakistan and his arrest and subsequent charge shows how successfully the Police Service and other security services work together.
"Bedfordshire Police will continue to do all we can to bring offenders to justice and to ensure our communities remain safe."
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