Man admits arson attacks on Norwich bar, pub and treatment and recovery service centre

Damage caused to the Wild Man pub and Karma: Photos: Pete Walsh Damage caused to the Wild Man pub and Karma: Photos: Pete Walsh

Peter Walsh and
Christine Cunningham newsdesk@archant.co.uk
Thursday, March 13, 2014
12:14 PM

A Norwich door supervisor who put out fires at a bar and pub after petrol bombs were thrown at them has welcomed the guilty pleas entered by the man responsible.

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Gregorz Kowalski, 39, threw a home-made petrol bomb at the Wildman pub and the Karma Kafé in Bedford Street.

He also started a fire at the Norfolk Recovery Partnership offices (TADS) in Unthank Road, which is the treatment and recovery service for people in Norfolk affected by drug and alcohol issues.

Kowalski, of Chapelfield North, Norwich, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday where he admitted arson with intent to endanger life at the Wildman pub and also arson with intent to endanger life at the Karma Kafé.

He also admitted a count of arson at the TADS offices in Unthank Road.

Judge Alasdair Darroch adjourned sentence until May 9 for reports including a psychiatric report which he said would be “extremely important”.

All the attacks happened in the early hours of November 10 last year.

One woman, who was standing outside the Karma Kafé, received a minor injury.

Following the arson attacks in Bedford Street, Nick Haynes, 28, who works for Norwich Security Specialists Ltd, and has been at Karma Kafé for about two 
years, grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the blaze at Karma Kafé after colleagues, Mark Dagless 
and Jamie Shewring, had helped pat out flames on the injured woman’s arm.

He then headed up Bedford Street where he also used the extinguisher to put out the fire at the Wildman.

Mr Haynes, who described his actions as “instinctive” rather than heroic, said he was pleased Kowalski had admitted his actions, preventing the need for a trial – and the need for the injured female to give evidence.

He said: “I would imagine it was quite a scary situation for her to be in and she wouldn’t particularly have wanted to have relived it and sit in court.”

As previously reported, James Stuart, the manager of the Wildman pub, praised the doorman for his quick thinking as he and his family, including partner and 16-year-old son, were asleep at the time and felt “lucky to be alive”.

Mr Stuart was contacted for a comment but he no longer works at the pub.

Have you got a crime story? Email crime correspondent Peter Walsh at peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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