Southend: Two jailed for 21 years after man set on fire
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Two men have been jailed for 21 years each for their role in an incident where a man was set on fire in Southend.
The victim, a man in his 40s, had been attacked outside of his home in Southchurch Road, Southend in the early hours of 30 October 2019.
He had gone outside after taking a phone call from someone he knew.
CCTV footage showed him being doused with a fluid from a petrol can and then set alight.
He managed to get away before being followed by the suspects, when he was then assaulted and set on fire for a second time.
The victim sustained burns on 60 percent of his body and lost four toes.
Paul Bruns, 53, of York Road, Southend and Ben Ince, 41, of no fixed address were arrested along with two other people.
The pair were later charged with attempted murder.
During their first trial at Basildon Crown Court a jury could not decide on verdicts but they were convicted following a re-trial at the same court yesterday (Wednesday 23 June).
At the same court today (Thursday 24 June) they were jailed for 21 years each.
Two other people – 33 year-old Alan Archer, of Dexter Close, Grays and Jane Reilly, 53, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff – have already been convicted and jailed for 24 years each.
At their trial, the jury heard the victim had been attacked because Reilly was angry he had pawned a watch, worth only a few pounds, which she had given him.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Neil Utley, of Southend CID, said: “The ordeal the victim was subjected to was unimaginable.
“The fact the motive behind the attack was so petty makes it all the more galling.
“The attack was calculated, pre-planned and callous and will affect the victim mentally and physically for some time to come.
“I hope the fact we’ve been able to bring his attacker’s to justice will help him to move forward.”