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Luton man pleads guilty to setting fire to homeless victim

17 Feb 2020

A man who set fire to a homeless man in a Luton street has pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and assault on an emergency worker.

In George Street, at around 4.15pm on 1 January, David Weir, 53, of Park Street, Luton, sprayed a flammable liquid from a washing up liquid bottle over a homeless man who was sitting outside a fast food restaurant. He then used a lighter to ignite the accelerant.

Nearby members of the public acted promptly and extinguished the flames, before disarming Weir and calling the emergency services.

The victim was initially taken to a specialist burns unit in Essex, and has since made a recovery.

Whilst in custody, Weir was abusive and threatening to officers. He was further arrested for assault on an emergency worker after spitting at a police constable and threatening to urinate on him.

At Luton Crown Court today (Monday), Weir pleaded guilty to GBH with intent and assault on an emergency worker.

Detective Constable Gary Hatton, investigating, said: “Weir deliberately left home that day with a bottle full of accelerant, and used it to seriously endanger the life of another man.

“We are truly grateful for the intervention of those passers-by who, without fear for their own safety, put out the flames and saved the victim from further harm, then confronted Weir and remained at the scene until he was arrested."

Weir will be sentenced at Luton Crown Court on 1 April.

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