A MAN who carried out a petrol fire attack on a Blackburn shop has been given a hospital order by a judge.

Paranoid schizophrenic Sebastian Szydlowskia set light to the Almera Polish food shop in Whalley Banks, where he had been a regular customer.

Preston Crown Court heard that the damage to the shop and surrounding premises, plus loss of trade through temporary closure of businesses, could be at least £750,000.

On the morning of October 19 last year, the defendant turned up at the shop and drenched one of the owners, Ako Abdullah, in petrol, the court heard.

Terrified about what might happen the shopkeeper ran outside as the shop was set ablaze.

Nearby businesses in the terraced row were also fire damaged and upstairs offices affected.

Szydlowski told a police officer: “The man in the shop wasn’t very nice to me.

"I’m like lucky Luke. I can do anything. I can fight with anyone.

“I can be a terrorist.”

The 30-year-old, of Rawstorne Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to arson, being reckless whether life would be endangered.

The Polish national was assisted by an interpreter for his sentencing hearing.

Tim Brennand, prosecuting, said Szydlowski was known to the owners of the shop.

In the days leading up to the offence, he had been behaving in an anti-social and difficult manner at the shop.

He was asked to leave on October 17 for openly drinking alcohol inside the premises.

The following day, he returned claiming his MP3 player had been left there.

He made threats to the owners of “I'll burn your shop,” and “I'll blow up your shop”.

The next day he filled a container or jerry can with 10.55 litres of petrol at a garage in King Street, went to the shop and poured the contents over Mr Abdullah.

Mr Brennand also told the court: “He realised very quickly he had been drenched in petrol and was terrified as to what very easily could happen if he was put near a naked flame or cigarette.”

Mark Stuart, defending, said Szydlowski had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia for some time, probably while he had been in Poland and certainly while in this country.

A consultant forensic psychiatrist gave evidence to say Szydlowski should be subject to a hospital order, with restrictions.