A 21-YEAR-OLD man threatened to ‘torch’ all the cars belonging to a car rental company.

Blackburn magistrates heard Saleem Khan was already facing charges of aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving which involved a Mercedes belonging to the rental company.

And the magistrates ruled the latest offence should also be dealt with at the crown court.

Remanding Khan in custody, the chairman of the magistrates said: “We accept it was a single call but that resulted in people being in fear of their property and livelihoods going up in flames and even being in fear for their own lives.”

Saleem Khan, 21, of Greenhead Avenue, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to threatening Yasim Ibrahim that he would burn and cause damage to vehicles belonging to Mercury Rentals Ltd.

Gareth Price, defending, said Khan’s wife had hired the Mercedes from Mercury Rentals and it had subsequently been involved in a crash. Mr Ibrahim phoned Mrs Khan and told her under their agreement he was taking £3,000 excess off her credit card.

“My client rang to talk about the situation,” said Mr Price. “He accepts that during the call he became angry and made the comments you have heard about. From February 7 when he made the threats until his arrest on February 12 nothing was done. They were simply empty threats.”