Harrowing footage shows the moment a man sets a sleeping homeless man on fire to "show off".
Montel Nowhia-Job, 24, caused “severe psychological damage” to victims Andy Hillerby and Mauricy Malczewski.
Nowhia-Job set fire to Andy's sleeping bag outside the Crisis Centre on in Croydon, South London at about 3am.
He had a lighter and appeared to ignite a paper ball before deliberately placing it next to the man, MyLondon reports.
He and his companion then walked away, leaving the sleeping man to catch alight.
This victim’s sleeping bag was destroyed, along with some items of clothing and important identification documents.
About an hour later he set fire to Mauricy's hoody as he slept.
Sean Sullivan, prosecuting, said: "The victim stated he awoke as he felt hot on his head. He looked at his clothes which were on fire, he could smell smoke and he could see sparks coming from his head.
"He tried to extinguish the fire by patting his head with his left hand, causing burns."
In a statement, Andy, who suffers from spina bifida, told how he lost his walking stick and colostomy bag in the fire and had to wait to get them replaced.
He said: "Since the incident, I have had fits and flashbacks, I suffer from panic attacks and my heartbeat has been out of control sometimes.
“I feel so low all the time, I feel so sad about what has happened. It hurts so much, I feel so hopeless.
"I used to be strong but now I feel I have got no strength. I feel my soul has gone and it has reduced me to a shaking mess.”
Mauricy said he had lost around £275 in the fire but he said the impact on his mental health was more serious.
He said in a statement: “This has affected me the most mentally, I can't leave anything with anybody anymore. I have trouble sleeping, I can't eat, I can't sleep.
"I'm constantly aware and alert, I'm afraid for my life now. These are things I didn't think of before I was set on fire. I always think of why this happened to me and if it could happen again. Mentally this has ripped me apart.”
Nowhia-Job was arrested two days later by police after he was caught on CCTV wearing a distinctive tracksuit.
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The court heard Nowhia-Job has previous convictions for robbery, assault and burglary and was on licence for a robbery sentence at the time of the arson attacks.
A psychiatrist assessed Nowhia-Job ahead of sentencing and found he had "a lack of empathy for his victims" and may have ADHD and Anti-Social Personality Disorder.
According to the psychiatrist, the defendant is “not motivated to change his behaviour or lifestyle”.
Tim Bass, defending, said Nowhia-Job is remorseful for his actions two years on and said his client was homeless himself at the time and has had a difficult upbringing.
Robert Levack, from the CPS, said: “People who are homeless are already vulnerable because they do not have a safe place to call home.
“Montel Nowhia-Job’s actions were frightening, reckless and could have had grave consequences for these men. Although neither of the victims received serious injuries, they have both suffered significant psychological trauma as a result of these arson attacks.
“I hope this prosecution goes some way to reassuring those sleeping rough that they should report crimes against them to the police, and that the CPS will support them by taking their cases to court where there is the evidence to do so.”
Nowhia-Job admitted two counts of arson being reckless to endanger life after the attacks in June 2019 in Croydon, South London.
Judge Adam Hiddleston branded Nowhia-Job a dangerous offender as he was caged for five years at Southwark Crown Court.
The judge told Nowhia-Job: “The damage you inflicted psychologically has clearly been considerable and no doubt will be long lasting.
“The probation worker describes how you sought to describe your actions as a joke - something done to show off to your companion, and to show you were a big man.
"She says being involved in these two attacks was something you enjoyed.”
The judge added: “I’m satisfied you are someone who is clearly capable of doing specified and serious crime, members of the public who cross your path are at considerable risk of serious harm.”Read More Read More