From Fylde Police –
COURT | Four men have been jailed after a vulnerable colleague was set on fire at a Wesham garage.
On June 1, 2021, the victim, aged in his teens, was working as an apprentice at a garage off Weeton Road.
During his shift the teenager, who has autism, was chased into the garage by his co-workers, with an accelerant, ignited by a blow torch, aimed at his legs.
The victim suffered burns to his upper thighs and later attended a health centre where he told health workers what happened, with the matter reported to police.
An investigation was launched with the victim revealing he had suffered increasing abuse and bullying by colleagues.
Detectives investigating the offence seized CCTV footage from the garage.
The video showed three of the attackers chasing the victim around the unit, aiming the blow torch and accelerant towards the victim. A fourth man leant against a door to prevent the victim escaping the attack.
The offenders eventually stopped and could be seen laughing, having left the victim in pain.
Police interviewed the men, who were later given summons to appear at court.
The group pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Thursday (May 12);
- Adam Lavelle, 34, of Walter Avenue, St Annes, was given 18 months in prison for S20 wounding (pictured, top left).
- Michael Jeffrey, 31, of Seafield Road, Blackpool, was given 14 months in prison for S20 wounding (top right).
- Soldon Legdani, 23, of Moss House Road, Blackpool, was given 10 months in prison for S20 wounding (bottom left).
- Simon Hickinbottom, 45 of Knowles Road, St Annes, was given 21 weeks in prison for common assault and providing a false statement (bottom right).
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