Apprentice sat on toilet gets engulfed with flames as prank goes wrong

Prankster ordered to pay £7,500 compensation and must carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work

Apprentice sat on toilet gets engulfed with flames as prank goes wrong
Petit Forestier car rental agency in Avonmouth where Harry Hayward suffered serious burns.

Apprentice mechanic at Petit Forestier car rental agency in Avonmouth, Harry Hayward suffered serious burns when a colleague turned the toilet cubicle he was sat in into an inferno.

John McCarthy, 22, poured brake and clutch fluid underneath the cubicle door before setting it ablaze with a lighter.

Harry suffered 13.5 per cent burns and was rushed to hospital, where he remained for a week.

Prosecutor Julian Howells said: “He realised he was in a lot of trouble.

“His overalls were alight and he felt terrible and intense pain to his legs and arms.

“He ran out of the cubicle and saw the defendant. He noticed the defendant had a look of shock on his face and shouted ‘sorry’.”

McCarthy, who said the prank usually involved people using spray bottles to ignite fluid, immediately assisted in putting out the flames.

Post traumatic stress

McCarthy was suspended, while Mr Hayward returned to work at the garage but was not able to use brake or clutch fluid or use the toilet where the incident occurred.

Defending, Catherine Spedding, said: “There is an element of age and a lack of maturity.

“This is a young man who has learnt his lesson is a low risk of re-offending and is unlikely to take such stupid risks in future.”

McCarthy pleaded guilty to wounding in August 2016.

The Recorder of Bristol His Honour Judge Peter Blair QC spared him jail, sentencing him to 18 months suspended for two years.

McCarthy was ordered to pay his victim £7,500 compensation in 12 months and carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Judge Blair said: “I’ve been within a hair’s breadth of passing that as an immediate sentence.

“But that would be a negative outcome from everybody’s point of view.”

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Home Page Forums Apprentice sat on toilet gets engulfed with flames as prank goes wrong

This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Andrew 9 months ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #163700 Reply

    John Fyfe

    I assume there is no management present !!

    #163702 Reply

    john w

    What a complete idiot doing something like that. Should be dismissed instantly. So dangerous.

    #164141 Reply

    john j

    He was dismissed and prosecuted

    #164324 Reply


    Totally agree with the above posts but we was all young (and stupid) once.
    We had an occasion many years ago where a lighted firework was thrown in through the toilet window, we were lucky as it only resulted in a lot of swearing.

    #164401 Reply

    Tim king

    What did the defendant think was going to happen ?
    Perhaps the thought the apprentice would blow the inferno out
    Prison would be my idea of stopping him being so mental
    This is not a prank it’s attempted murder in my book !
    Utter shame on the guy
    Karma will prevail !

    #164406 Reply

    r craven

    we have all done stupid things which latter regret, jail would not help anyone, yes he went over the top with fire, the fine will make him think in future

    #164867 Reply


    Attempted murder is a little beyond this ” prank gone wrong”

    What on earth makes you think he attempted to ‘murder’ his work colleague? hysteria and it’s highest there. it’s a silly prank gone wrong

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)


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