AN ANGRY thug tried to torch his friend’s garage with Molotov cocktails in a grudge over drugs money.

Thomas Taylor hurled petrol bombs at Michael Lambert’s home in Petworth Road, Brighton.

“I swear on my children’s life I’m going to kidnap you and torch your house,” he said in a threatening text message.

It followed an attack on Mr Lambert a month earlier.

When Taylor carried out his threat, he made no effort to contact the emergency services.

Then when police arrived, he resisted arrest and spat in the face of an officer, named only as PC Judd.

Brighton Crown Court heard father-of-three Taylor, 24, had a “grudge” because he did not want to pay £30 for cannabis.

He admitted assault and assaulting a PC, and was found guilty of arson that recklessly endangered life, possession of an offensive weapon, and sending malicious communications.

The court heard he has “anger” issues and previous convictions for intimidation.

Judge Shani Barnes said Taylor knew Mr Lambert from primary school, and thought he could bully him to get his own way.

She said it was only thanks to the quick response of Mr Lambert that the fire did not spread from the garage.

Taylor was jailed for six years, and Judge Barnes told him he will serve an extended sentence because he presents a risk of causing serious harm to the public.

She said: “Oh my goodness, this could have been very different, you could have been facing life in prison.”

Beverley Cripps, prosecuting, said Taylor attacked Mr Lambert, who was sitting in his car in Brighton in August last year.

Then he hatched a plan to set fire to Mr Lambert’s home, and sent the threatening message a month later.

He was found in possession of a crowbar, and had taken two petrol bombs to the address in Petworth Road.

Ms Cripps said Taylor had drunk seven pints of lager and taken the class C drug Xanax on the day of the arson attack.

Philip Meredith, defending, said Taylor, of Clarendon Road, Hove, suffers from a severe medical condition and has had to undergo a colonoscopy operation.

His treatments and operations have left him with half a bowel.

Judge Barnes noted he suffers from Crohn’s disease, which can be embarrassing for prisoners.

But she said Taylor had not helped himself by discharging himself from hospital and refusing treatment. She said his drinking and drug use had “made things ten times worse”.

She told him: “You have put yourself here. You have described how your father’s convictions ‘messed you up’ but you are following the same pattern of behaviour you accuse him of.

“I’m afraid to say you have anger issues and intimidation issues, trying to get your own way.

“You put upon Mr Lambert, who you knew from primary school, to do what you wanted.

“When I hear the message you sent, in the cold light of day, swearing on your children’s life you were going to torch his home and kidnap him, is ridiculous.

“There is no doubt in my mind you pose a significant risk of causing serious harm to the public in future.”