[A] BUSINESSMAN who set a terrified Carlisle shop owner on fire has been jailed almost a decade.
Frank Robertson doused Vaughan Livesey in flammable fluid which he lit with a 10-inch blow torch flame inside the victim’s PB Sports shop, Wigton Road, on the morning of February 13.
As Mr Livesey felt “horrendous pain” in his left leg and “unbearable” heat, 60-year-old Robertson produced a “two-and-a-half foot” long machete and repeatedly vowed to kill the shop owner.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how 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. Mr Livesey suffered burns to his lower left leg, and singed hair and eyelashes, during a five-minute ordeal which, the court was told, erupted amid a dispute over property and money.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Livesey had described feeling “shattered” following the attack by a “so-called distant friend” with whom he had previously played snooker. “The physical pain was indescribable; the smell of burning flesh makes me want to vomit but the emotional side of it has scarred me forever,” he stated.
Robertson, of Stainton, near Penrith, later admitted attempting to cause the shop owner grievous bodily harm as an alternative to a charge of attempted murder, which he denied. He also pleaded guilty to the possession of two offensive weapons – the blow torch and machete.
He was sentenced today (TUES), and jailed for nine years and nine months, by Judge James Adkin, who said: “This was a sustained attack with the possession of weapons.”
Robertson was also banned from contacting his victim and his victim’s partner indefinitely.
Detective Sergeant Chris Brennand, of Cumbria Police, gives his reaction to the sentencing of Frank Robertson outside Carlisle Crown Court earlier today.
Detective Sergeant Tracey Nimmo, North Cumbria CID, said: “Robertson was intent on causing his victim serious pain in what was an extremely violent and premeditated attack. He is clearly a dangerous individual given the lengths he went to in attacking his victim.
“I am pleased he is now behind bars and I hope this sends a clear message to anyone who would consider engaging in such violence.”