Disabled woman with lighter who doused herself in petrol at garage spared prison

Disabled woman with lighter who doused herself in petrol at garage spared prison

A disabled woman who doused herself in petrol and threatened to set herself on fire at a service station in frustration that a hospital had no beds free to treat her has been spared jail.

Maria Whitefield, 30, drove up to a pump in her wheelchair, poured petrol over herself while clutching a lighter and told a terrified attendant she would make the garage go "boom".

She was upset at having been released from hospital without being treated, Southwark Crown Court heard previously.

The court was told that Whitefield, from Inglewood Mews in West Norwood, south-east London, had been convicted 44 times for around 130 offences over the last 12 years, many of which were "nuisance-type offences".

Whitefield drove her wheelchair into a Texaco garage in Norwood Road on November 14 2015 and approached a pump and proceeded to pour petrol over herself and the floor.

When an attendant approached her, turned the pump off and told her he had called the police, she said: "I will set this whole place, I will light this whole place, this whole place will go boom."

When police arrived she told them she had also tried to set herself on fire the day before as a hospital had discharged her because there were no beds available.

Whitefield also breached an anti-social behaviour (Asbo) on November 20 last year when she set off a fire alarm at St Thomas' Hospital in central London, a day after going there claiming she had overdosed on paracetamol.

She began shouting at staff after being told she would have to wait for results of a blood test, before ramming members of the public, doctors and nurses with her wheelchair when police arrived and ordered her out.

Shortly after she was removed she set off a fire alarm in the building.

Whitefield was given a six-month suspended sentence for threatening to destroy property. She was also ordered to 40 days' rehabilitation and not to enter petrol stations.

She was given a suspended two-month sentence to run consecutively for breaching an Asbo plus.

Whitefield also received a suspended one-week sentence for criminal damage which is to run concurrently.

She had previously pleaded guilty to all charges.

All sentences were suspended for 12 months.

More in this Section

US state of Virginia marks 400th anniversary of slave ship arrivalUS state of Virginia marks 400th anniversary of slave ship arrival

Johnson’s first summit as PM sees clash with Tusk over Brexit blameJohnson’s first summit as PM sees clash with Tusk over Brexit blame

Tusk and Johnson clash over who will be to blame in case of no-deal BrexitTusk and Johnson clash over who will be to blame in case of no-deal Brexit

Prince Andrew insists he never suspected paedophile Jeffrey EpsteinPrince Andrew insists he never suspected paedophile Jeffrey Epstein


Lifestyle

These green pancakes are topped with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese.How to make Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes

Who else can pull off a look described as a ‘hip-hop Michelin woman’?As her new EP drops, this is why there will never be a style icon quite like Missy Elliott

The classic white-tipped look is once again in favour, and celebs are loving it.The French manicure is back – 5 modern ways to try the trend

The A-Listers hiding in plain sight: As Rihanna is spotted at the cricket, who are the celebs who have been living under our noses in Ireland? Ed Power reports.Celebs in plain sight: The A-Listers living under our noses in Ireland

More From The Irish Examiner