Two men have been jailed after police released footage of them asking their taxi driver to stop by for beer, setting it alight as the vehicle engulfed in flames before the panicking taxi driver.
Warren Hearne, 36, and Danny Frost, 27, were having an evening out in Romney Marsh, Kent, before the pair got thrown out of a pub. Their next step was to grab a cab - supposedly stopping off to get some beer on the way - before their taxi driver, Abdulawar Malikzadev, found his vehicle set on fire before his eyes.
It has been reported that the arsonists were threatening the driver with a metal bar during their journey whilst Hearne attempted to open the car door mid-journey. Despite announcing their need for beer to the taxi driver and asking for him to stop by a petrol station, their intentions ended up being a lot more sinister. Once the driver had stopped, it seemed neither of the two men actually went inside the kiosk. Instead, father-of-three Hearne stepped out, retrieved the petrol pump and pointed inside the car, appeaing to pour petrol over the backseat of the taxi.
The vehicle was imminently set on fire and the taxi driver just managed to flee to safety as his livelihood was destroyed before him. Thanks to CCTV footage, both arsonists were quickly identified and arrested shortly after the incident occured. Both men pleaded guilty to arson and sentenced on December 14, nearly a year following the incident. Hearne was sentenced to six years and four months whilst Frost received a lesser sentence totalling to five years and seven months.
Officer Detective Constable Kay Brown, who was investigating the case, said: "There is no excuse for what they did and thankfully they will serve time in prison for this unprovoked and reckless attack on an innocent man." The car was alight for a total of ten minutes whilst stationed just a few steps away from the petrol station, increasing risk to those in the area significantly.
"I hope this sentence will give them time to consider the consequences of their actions and make better choices in the future," officer Kay Brown concludes.