An Isleworth man has been jailed for 20 months after taking fuel from a petrol station on two occasions without making any payments.

Anthony Laszewski, 57, of Twickenham Road in Isleworth was given three consecutive sentences on June 27 after he used a petrol station to fill his van and some cans with £70 worth of fuel on January 9.

Mr Laszewski was ordered to serve 18 months in prison for possession of an explosive substance and was handed eight more weeks for non-payment of fuel and for attempting to leave the petrol station before paying for the used service.

Commander Clarke Jarrett, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Following the identification of the dangerous items in Laszewski’s van, officers were swift to identify him and secure his arrest, removing a potential threat to the public.

“A search of his home address was carried out to ensure there were no other harmful substances in his possession.

“I praise the garage staff for their decisive actions which led to the detection of the explosive substances, potentially preventing someone being injured or worse.”

He had previously stolen fuel from the garage up to the value of £29.41 on December 31.

He was caught when a member of staff recognised him and approached the van to remove some cellophane that was concealing the front number plate and then took the keys from the ignition.

When Laszewski discovered the keys were missing he went back into the shop to demand their return but was refused and informed that the police had been called.

He walked to his van to return the two cans of fuel in exchange for his keys however – he was again told that it would not be possible.

Mr Laszewski went back to his van, tore off the rear number plate – which was different to the one affixed to the front, and left the petrol station without the van.

Police were called and attended the garage where they established that Mr Laszewski was driving without insurance.

After searching Mr Laszewski’s van the police uncovered a box of jars which contained low explosive substances, low explosive powders and propellants, and flares.

He was arrested on January 10 in relation to the suspected explosive substances found in his vehicle and taken to a south London police station.

Mr Laszewski told police that the items were for Guy Fawkes night and search of his flat in Twickenham Road uncovered a number of fireworks.

When he appeared in court Mr Laszewski pleaded guilty to all charges that were put to him.

Anyone witnessing suspicious behaviour or activity or who has information which could assist police is asked to call 999 in an emergency or call 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Suspicious behaviour or activity can also be reported via the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) website or alternatively, call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321.e re a potential media appeal.