Who are Brittany and Bethany Lee? Twins who threatened to BLOW UP gas station get 3 years jail
CANTERBURY, UNITED KINGDOM: Brittany and Bethany Lee, 23, the identical twins who threatened to blow up an Esso gas station, and also kill themselves during a stand-off with the police, have been arrested and sentenced to three years and nine months in prison by the Canterbury Crown Court recently.
The twin sisters doused themselves with gasoline and threatened to set themselves alight at the Sturry Road gas station in Canterbury on April 10, 2022.
The women were produced before the court on Friday, July 29, 2022, where Prosecutor Vishal Misra revealed how the twins had planned on killing themselves and blowing up the petrol station, as per the Daily Mail. According to Misra, the pair explained their plan on a mobile call to the police. He said, "Bethany Lee said she was seeking to set herself on fire and also the Esso petrol station."
When the police arrived at the site 20 minutes later, the twins warned they would "set themselves alight" if the authorities got too close, the court heard. Misra said, “Bethany was seen with a lighter, trying to discharge the lighter." However, after the lighter failed, the twins fled and were arrested following a brief chase.
The twins refused to watch the horrifying CCTV footage of their crime. The video played in court showed Brittany and Bethany drunkenly pouring petrol over themselves for about five minutes before shouting at the police. Judge Mark Weekes said, "You ran the risk of killing yourselves, of killing the other sister, or maiming yourselves, or the other sister, or those in the filling station." For about five minutes, the pair scared the petrol station staffers who eventually deactivated the pumps which ensured only residual fuel flowed out of the nozzles.
The bodycam footage, also played in court, showed the arresting officers noting a "strong smell of fuel", chasing and arresting the women. As the proceedings progressed, Brittany requested to leave the court. The court heard that Brittany has 26 convictions for 54 offenses and Bethany has 14 convictions for 26 offenses for relatively minor crimes, which include being drunk and disorderly.
'Desire to seek attention,' says Judge Mark Weekes
Judge Mark Weekes told the twins that their behavior was “in large part a desire to seek attention.” He added, "It must have been a very frightening time for all concerned." Bethany's lawyer Phil Rowley said his client pleaded guilty at an early opportunity and explained she had a "troubling and challenging early life."
Brittany's lawyer Charlotte Oliver concurred with Rowley’s points, adding that the sisters have formed "a destructive alliance.” The twins pleaded guilty to attempted arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.