A MAN has been jailed today for three years and six months for causing the death of a man he set alight as his victim celebrated his 18th birthday.
Jordan Sheard, aged 20, of Darfield Road, Cudworth, pleaded guilty to manslaughter after he set fire to Steven Simpson in June.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Sheard ignited a cigarette lighter close to Mr Simpson’s groin moments after inflammable tanning oil had been thrown over his victim.
The court was told there had been ‘horseplay’ all night at the party and that Sheard had been ‘egged on’.
He ignited the lighter in response to somebody else at the party saying ‘light it, light is, see what it does,’ it was claimed.
Mr Simpson suffered burns to 60 per cent of his body and died from his injuries a few days later.
The court was also told that before he was set on fire Mr Simpson, who had Asperger Sydrome, was taunted for being homosexual.
Homophobic insults were written on his body in marker pen.
But jailing Sheard, Judge Keen said he accepted that there had been ‘horseplay’ at the party all night.
He said: “I can’t do anything sufficient to repair the hurt and distress that you have caused.
“This whole evening seems to have had as part of it good natured horseplay that lasted throughout the evening and even shortly before his fatal injuries Steven Simpson appears to have been enjoying himself, but you, egged on by others sought to put a flame on him .
Any objective observer, given the fluid that had been poured all over him, would have considered that a highly dangerous act running the risk of causing him really serious injury. You however did not consider that there was such a serious risk.”
He said it was an ‘aggravating factor. that Sheard initially ran away and left his victim on fire.
The court also heard that Sheard initially blamed Mr Simpson for setting himself on fire before eventually confessing.
See tomorrow’s Star for full story.