Man jailed for Carlisle sports shop blowtorch attack

Frank Robertson Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Frank Robertson was "intent on causing his victim serious pain," Cumbria Police said

A man who set a shop owner on fire with a blowtorch has been jailed for almost 10 years.

Frank Robertson, 60, doused Vaughan Livesey in flammable fluid which he lit with a 10-inch blowtorch flame inside the victim's PB Sports shop in Carlisle in February.

Robertson, of Stainton, near Penrith, then produced a machete and vowed to kill him, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

He admitted causing grievous bodily harm and possessing offensive weapons.

Mr Livesey fled into the back of his shop and barricaded himself in while still on fire as his attacker screamed further threats and hacked at the door with the blade.

Pain 'indescribable'

He suffered burns to his lower left leg and singed hair and eyelashes during the five-minute ordeal which, the court was told, erupted amid a dispute over property and money.

Image caption A dispute over property and money led to the attack in PB Sports, the court heard

In a victim impact statement, Mr Livesey described feeling "shattered" following the attack by a "so-called distant friend" with whom he had previously played snooker.

"The physical pain was indescribable," he said.

"The smell of burning flesh makes me want to vomit but the emotional side of it has scarred me forever."

Robertson was initially charged with attempted murder, which he denied.

He was jailed for nine years and nine months.

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