Man jailed after throwing beans tin at police dog & starting pub fire

Man jailed after throwing beans tin at police dog & starting pub fire

Published by The Wessex FM News Team at 4:29pm 24th October 2019.

A man’s been sentenced to six months in prison after setting a store room alight and throwing baked beans tins at police.

William Sheen, 23 and of no fixed abode, locked himself in the store room of the George Tapps pub in Bournemouth on Wednesday evening.

He then began to throw items at police officers, including bags of flour and commercial-sized tins of baked beans. One of the tins struck Police Dog Gus on the head, stunning him and causing him to back away. 

A Taser was then deployed and officers were then able to get access to the room and arrest Sheen. 

George Tapps pub

It was after Sheen had reportedly entered the pub telling staff:

“Help me; the police are waiting for me at KFC. They’re after me, they’re after me”. 

Staff described his behaviour as erratic and paranoid.

They asked Sheen to leave, which he did via a fire exit, but around 10:30pm Sheen returned and entered the kitchen area. Staff then heard loud banging from a dry store along with Sheen shouting “Let me out”.


Officers managed to prise the store door open by about six inches but they had to retreat when Sheen made a stabbing motion with a metal instrument, warning them he had a knife.

At 11:05pm one of the officers noticed smoke coming from the dry store, followed by flames. 

Sheen was heard to say:

“Go away. This place is going to go up” and “See boys, I’m setting the place on fire”. 

Officers used extinguishers to fight the fire through the small gap around the door, but Sheen then started a second fire, which was extinguished by the fire service.

police van 3

Armed officers attended along with Police Dog Gus and his handler. The door was removed and the barricade pulled away, at which point PD Gus was sent forward. It was then that Sheen began to throw items at the officers and PD Gus.

Detective Constable Ben Singleton, of Dorset Police, said: 

“William Sheen’s actions on this day were violent and extremely reckless. Not only did he put his own life at risk, but also members of staff and public inside the pub along with emergency service workers who attended the incident. 

“There is no place for this kind of behaviour in our communities and we will do everything in our power to ensure those responsible are brought before the courts.”

Police dog Gus
Police Dog Gus

Chief Inspector Heather Dixey, of Dorset Police, said: 

“Sheen also carried out a violent act against PD Gus and admitted causing unnecessary suffering on that day to a service dog – a new offence brought in under the so-called Finn’s Law. This case yet against demonstrates the danger that can be faced by officers and police dogs while dealing with hostile and volatile incidents and I would like to praise them for the professionalism they demonstrated on that day to bring this incident to a safe conclusion."

Both PD Gus and the officer did not sustain any lasting injuries and they are both back on active duty.

Mr Sheen was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court today (24th October) after pleading guilty at a previous hearing to arson, assaulting an emergency worker and causing unnecessary suffering to a service.