Man jailed for brutal arson attack on family home

A Doncaster man who left his mother with over 60 percent burns to her body in horrifying arson attack has been jailed for four years.

Connor O’Rourke, 23, was seen drunkenly pouring fuel over the front garden surrounding his family’s property in Ratten Row, Wadworth last June before making the area go up in flames with a lighter and fleeing. The blaze quickly traveled to the house with a family still inside.

The defendants mother, who was in the house at the time suffered second degree burns all over her body, and was initially not expected to survive after jumping into a paddling pool as her skin started to peel.

Thankfully, she is now on the road to recovery.

Detective Inspector Lee Townley from Doncaster CID told South Yorkshire Police: “I can only imagine the fear that engulfed the occupants of that home in the moments following O’Rourke lighting the fire.”

“A 20-year-old woman who saw him light the fire suffered burns to her legs that required hospital treatment. She is still dealing with the after-effects of her injuries.”

In the hearing on March 5, Doncaster Crown Court heard that earlier that evening on June 26 there had been a disagreement between O’Rourke and a resident at the property, which they believe led him to starting the fire.

Prosecutor Nick Adlington said the arson was a “revenge attack” but that it is not clear who against. He was then sentenced to four years in prison.

Written by Imogen Nicholas

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