Birmingham Mail | 15th May 2007 |
Brotherton…had been smoking strong cannabis when he hatched his plot to get even and that had clearly affected his thinking.
A MAN who set a friend on fire after dousing him with petrol before laughing as he burned was today beginning an indeterminate prison sentence.
Judge Robin Onions at Wolverhampton Crown Court told Adam Brotherton his vicious attack had been “chilling in its conception, remorseless in its execution and horrifying in its consequences.”
He ruled that 22-year-old Brotherton should spend at least ten years behind bars before being considered for parole.
He told Brotherton: “I have to impose a sentence for the protection of the public. You represent a significant risk of harm to the public.”
Gardener Ian Smith, was tied to a tree at a secluded Walsall beauty spot and stabbed twice before being callously set on fire by Brotherton, the court heard.
The 24-year-old suffered 64 per cent burns in the attack, which robbed him of the “quality” of his life and Broth-erton had simply abandoned him at the Lime Pits nature reserve.
Brotherton had taken revenge on Mr Smith, of Friary Crescent, Rushall, because he had “grassed” on him to police.
Mr Smith had given the homeless, unemployed Brotherton a bed for the night and he repaid his kindness by stealing property including a Playstation and games from his flat.
“He showed you nothing but kindness and you simply helped yourself to his property,” said the judge.
Brotherton, he added, had been smoking strong cannabis when he hatched his plot to get even and that had clearly affected his thinking.
John Attwood, prosecuting, told the court how Mr Smith’s life had been ruined by the terrible attack.
He said Mr Smith had enjoyed gardening, fishing, cycling and dogminding but was now unable to fend for himself.
He cannot feed himself or even wipe his own nose and his movements have been restricted by the burns he suffered.
“He cannot go anywhere without people staring at him. The district nurse has to go in every day to treat his wounds,” said Mr Attwood.
“He is very frustrated because he cannot do the things he wants to do. His sleep is disturbed, he gets flashbacks and he suffers bad dreams.”
Brotherton, of Lichfield Road, Walsall, had denied attempted murder but was convicted on a unanimous verdict by the jury at the end of his eight-day trial.
Brotherton, who has 37 previous convictions, maintained in court he was not responsible for the attack and was with friends smoking cannabis.