Rapping arsonist jailed after online feud turns real

A wannabe gangster rapper who tried to firebomb a rival MC who ‘dissed’ him on his track ended up setting fire to the wrong house. 

Michael Athernought, 25, who raps under the name Ath, went out with a petrol bomb to target his victim, Official Chronic, following a feud between the pair. 

However, Athernought ended up setting fire to the wrong house as he torched a property belonging to a mum and her teenage son.

Ian Wright, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court, towards the end of last year Official Chronic, known as Swansea rapper Ricky Williams, posted some of his music online.

Athernought shared a link to the clip on his Facebook page and then posted some critical comments about his song. Mr Wright said in response Chronic posted a “dis’ track” making negative comments about his former friend – Athernought took exception to this. 

On November 13 last year the defendant posted a rap in which he made a series of threats to – among other things – firebomb his rival’s house.

In the early hours of November 16, Athernought took a petrol bomb to Clyndu Street in Morriston and threw it at the front door a house, believing it was the home address of his rival.


In fact he had got the wrong house, and the property belonged to a woman and her teenage son.

he prosecutor said woman was woken by the sound of her smoke alarm going off, and when she went downstairs she saw the orange glow of flames through the glass panel of her front door.

Mr Wright said the woman then went to wake her son who was sleeping downstairs at the time as a newly-broken leg in a cast was restricting his mobility.

The court heard at the same time a neighbour of the woman was woken by the noise of a bottle smashing and a “woosh” of fuel igniting followed by the smell of accelerants and the sound of running footsteps.

Mr Wright said the neighbour rushed into the street and he and the older brother of the intended victim who lived nearby were together able to extinguish the flames before they spread.

Police were called, and at 5am officers went to Athernought’s home in the centre of Swansea. The court heard the officers knocked on the door and asked to be let in, but the defendant said they would need a warrant.

The officers told him they didn’t need a warrant, and went into the flat where they were met with an “overwhelming smell” of petrol, a green plastic petrol container, a lighter, and burnt pieces of towel.


The towel was later forensically matched to material found at the scene of the fire.

In a victim impact which was read to court the woman whose house was firebombed said she no longer feels safe in her own home, and wants to move away from the area to try to put the events of the night behind her.

Michael Jordan Athernought – known as Jordan – of Tontine Street in Swansea city centre had previously pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

The rapper was sentenced to an extended nine year and nine month sentence as a dangerous offender.


Several years before Jordan was living legal and had fought off a armed robber.

A teenage shopkeeper is shot in the face by an air gun during an attempted armed robbery – and responds by smacking the robber in the face with a can of energy drink.

Jordan Athernought has been praised for his “tremendous courage” after he thwarted the robber raider during a botched raid captured on CCTV.

Security footage shows David Janiszewski, 24, trying to hold up Vicarage Road Stores in Morriston, Swansea, on February 25.

Janiszewski enters the store with his hood up and points his gun straight at Jordan, who is stacking shelves at the back of the shop.

When the robber pulls the trigger, Jordan is hit in the face by a pellet.

The cowardly criminal flees the shop in terror – and was later picked up by police hiding in the wardrobe of a nearby ‘crack den”.

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