A VIOLENT thug battered his friend repeatedly around the head with a crowbar in a terrifying unprovoked attack - before dousing him with lighter fluid and setting him on fire.
Adrian Paul Cousins, aged 48, was jailed for 12 years by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court who branded his offences “horrific”.
His victim Mark White, 36, was scarred for life and lost all his belongings after the blaze ripped through his flat.
He spent three weeks in hospital undergoing surgery so metal plates and pins could be inserted to mend his broken eye socket, cheekbone and jaw. He also suffered burns to his hands and face, and still has to apply cream to stop his skin from drying out.
Jailing Cousins, Judge Peter Kelson QC told him: “You have pleaded guilty to two horrific offences.
“You set about your victim in his own house with a crowbar, wielding it heavily and crashing it down on your victim’s head.
“At some point thereafter you consolidated your violence by pouring lighter fluid or some sort of accelerant on his hands, his head and his bed and throwing a match to ignite him.
“This is the gravest of cases. When his flat was on fire you were holding closed the only door he could escape from.
“The fire gutted his flat and destroyed everything he owned. He is continuing to suffer.”
Rachel Harrison, prosecuting, said Cousins’ motive was unclear but the men were friends who had been drinking into the early hours on September 9 at Mr White’s first floor flat in Broad Street, Parkgate, Rotherham.
When it was suggested one of Mr White’s neighbours was seeing Cousins’ ex-girlfriend, Cousins grabbed the crowbar and smashed Mr White’s head repeatedly before dousing him in lighter fluid and hurling a lit match.
Cousins, of Masbrough, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and arson with intent to endanger life.
Dermot Hughes, defending, said: “He has vowed never ever to drink again.”