Horror in courtroom as defendant sets himself on fire

Horror in courtroom as defendant, 38, douses himself in hand sanitiser then sets himself ABLAZE as he faces judge for breaching restraining order against ex-lover

  • Kamil Kalwarski furious at being hauled to court over restraining order breach
  • Polish national had allegedly warned court staff that he would set himself ablaze 
  • Van driver smuggled lighter and hand sanitiser into Teesside Magistrates’ Court
  • Kalwarski set himself ablaze and staggering towards judge covered in flames
  • But police managed to wrangle him to the floor before he reached the judge

A defendant doused himself in hand sanitiser before setting himself ablaze in front of a shocked judge in a courtroom.

Van driver Kamil Kalwarski, 38, of Middlesbrough, was furious at being hauled to court for breaching a restraining order banning him from contacting his ex-partner.

The Polish national had allegedly warned court staff that he would set himself ablaze and hand sanitiser was removed from the courtroom for his appearance.

But he managed to smuggle a lighter and his own hand sanitiser, pouring it over his left arm and flicking the lighter at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Timothy Capstick was midway through the case when Kalwarski began staggering towards him covered in flames, pushing an usher to the floor.

Van driver Kamil Kalwarski, 38, of Middlesbrough, was furious at being hauled to court for breaching a restraining order banning him from contacting his ex-partner

Kalwarski doused himself in hand sanitiser before setting himself ablaze in front of a shocked judge in a courtroom at Teesside Magistrates’ Court in Middlesbrough (file picture)

However police had already been summoned to the court because of Kalwarski’s threats and managed to wrangle him to the floor before he reached the judge.

Kalwarski was taken to hospital and allowed home the same day. After the incident, he said: ‘This was the only way I could think of getting people to listen to me.

‘I told them what I would do and I did it. I was only intending to harm myself  – I did not want anyone else to be hurt in any way.

‘So I made sure the liquid went on me and then I ignited it with a cigarette lighter. I used hand sanitiser that I use in my job.


Polish national Kalwarski (left and right) had allegedly warned court staff that he would set himself ablaze and hand sanitiser was removed from the courtroom for his appearance

It has a high alcohol content and it went up in flames very quickly. I don’t think I have been fairly treated by the courts and I wanted people to pay attention to what I have been through. The burns are painful of course but I don’t regret doing it at all.’

Kalwarski’s left arms was swathed in bandages and he also suffered burns to his left ear and some of his hair was burned off.

He was arrested again on August 12 as the Army’s bomb disposal team were called to his property in the Grangetown area of Middlesbrough.

Residents were evacuated for six hours as a result of a stand-off. Kalwarski pleaded guilty to 16 charges and will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court today at 2.30pm.

In August the Army’s bomb disposal team were called to his property in the Grangetown area of Middlesbrough (above). Residents were evacuated for six hours as a result of a stand-off

He admits three counts of sending an electronic communication to Teesside Magistrates’ Court with the intent to cause distress or anxiety between July 13 and August 8, assault by beating at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on July 16, affray at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on July 16, ssing threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour with the intent to cause/provoke unlawful violence on July 16, using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour with intent to cause harassment/alarm/distress on August 12, seven counts of breaching a non molestation order between June 19 and July 28, 2020 and two counts of breaching a non molestation order on September 10 and September 11, 2019

At the last hearing before Teesside Crown Court, Judge Stephen Ashurst told Kalwarski: ‘The fact you’ve pleaded guilty to all these offences today is something that will count in your favour when you are sentenced.

‘I think the court needs to have some reports about the background and current situation before deciding what the sentence will be.’

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