Breaking Bristol Somerset

A man who caused extensive damage to a Bristol nightclub as part of a campaign to prevent it and other venues from introducing Covid vaccine passports has been jailed for six years

Owen Marshall, of Royate Hill, Bristol, set fire to a petrol soaked towel he’d posted through the letterbox of SWX two months after he hand-delivered a letter in which he threatened to “burn” the venue.
The following day, on July 14, he was caught on CCTV delivering a letter to the home of Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, in which he claimed responsibility for the arson attack and that he intended to it to be a warning to other venues.
On 28 July, the 29-year-old then threw a brick through the window of the Barley Mow pub on Barton Road – attached to the brick was a handwritten note claiming vaccine passports were a breach of human rights.
Then on 2 August, another Bristol nightclub, Lakota, received a handwritten letter in the post which threatened it would “sustain substantial damage like SWX” if it introduced Covid passports.
As part of the investigation into the offences, hundreds of hours of CCTV from the area around the Nelson Street nightclub was reviewed – with officers tracking the movements of a man seen starting the fire back to a shop on Fishponds Road, where he bought a box of matches.
The man was subsequently identified as Marshall following a public appeal and he was arrested.
Having denied responsibility for any offences, Marshall pleaded guilty to charges of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered, criminal damage and making threats to cause criminal damage at a hearing at Bristol Crown Court in September.
He was then sentenced for the three offences at the same court on Wednesday, 8 December.