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Arsonist laughed as he poured petrol through a neighbour’s letter box
9:09am Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
A DRUNKEN arsonist, who poured petrol through a neighbour’s letter box and ignited it, laughed when flames engulfed the terrified resident, a court heard.
The victim, Michael Feint, was shouting and screaming in fear in the hallway of his flat and could hear Paul Lynan laughing on the other side of the door, Liverpool Crown Court was told.
Mandy Nepal, prosecuting, said that 40-year-old Lynan poured the fuel through the letter box at flats on Pennine Drive, Parr, before shouting: “I’m going to kill you. This is petrol and no-one can do anything about it.”
Jailing Lynan for eight years, Judge Mark Brown said he had “effectively tried to kill” Mr Feint: “This was a determined effort on your part to endanger the life of Michael Feint and his life was indeed put at great risk and it is extremely fortunate that he did not suffer far more grave consequences.”
The judge added: “Whatever the background might have been, nothing can possibly justify your actions and the court simply cannot tolerate the situation where a person takes the law into their own hands.”
Mr Feint, 50, had been set alight, had trouble breathing and feared he might be trapped in the premises. He had to be put on a ventilator at Whiston Hospital because his wind pipe was swollen and it was feared he had suffered lung damage.
He was unconscious for a day and although his lungs had not been damaged he remained in hospital for four days. As well as scarring he suffers from flashbacks and panic attacks.
The court heard Mr Feint had initially heard the sound of liquid at 6.15pm on March 20 and thought a pipe had burst.
In the hallway he “found it was awash with petrol”. His legs and body became engulfed with flames after Lynan threw two lit matches through the letter box. The victim ran to the bathroom and doused the flames but suffered severe burns to his hands, head and legs.
He put out the fire, which severely damaged the hallway of the ground floor premises.
Lynan, who lived in the flat upstairs, was arrested.
He said he had been drunk and denied intending to endanger life.
He claimed people kept coming and going from the flat to buy drugs and he had wanted to stop that happening.
Eric Lamb, defending, said Lynan had not planned the offence and at the time was both an alcoholic and a “petrol sniffer”.
He said his client was remorseful and he produced a petition from neighbours and friends asking the judge for leniency.
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