A man has been jailed for 10 years after he sprayed petrol from a Fairy Liquid bottle onto a homeless man and set him on fire. David Weir, 53, attacked Thomas Smith on New Year’s Day outside a branch of McDonald’s in Luton. Witnesses rushed to Thomas’s aid as he ripped his clothes off, and he believes that it was only thanks to his beard that he did not suffer severe facial injuries.
Weir carried out the revenge attack a day after Thomas floored him and a friend in the town centre. Police were called, but no further action was taken. As Weir left the scene he said ‘I’ll be back’. The following day, he returned and engulfed Thomas in a ball of flames, leaving him in pain that he described as ‘unreal’. Shoppers saw him rolling around on the pavement to try and put the flames out. Weir remained at the scene, pacing around until police arrived and then he spat at PC Matthew Bright while in custody.
Following the attack, Thomas told police: ‘I have no idea why the attacker would do this to me. The level of violence and aggression was so extreme I am sure he intended to kill me.’ Thomas was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital where he was treated for burns to his face, fingers and wrists after being left covered in blisters and peeling skin. He then spent three days in a specialist burns unit but did not require surgery and has since refused to accept follow-up treatment. Weir was jailed for 10 years and six months with a minimum term behind bars of seven years. Weir squirted petrol from a Fairy Liquid bottle onto Thomas. He then set him on fire in revenge for an argument the previous day.
Weir has now been jailed for more than 10 years for the attack Judge Mark Bishop told Weir: ‘The public must be protected from you. By your actions, you have shown yourself to be capable of callous, premeditated ruthlessness.’ He said it was likely young children had been in the McDonald restaurant that day and witnessed the attack. Detective Constable Gary Hatton said: ‘Weir deliberately left home that day with a bottle full of accelerant, and used it to seriously endanger the life of another man.
Source: Metro UK