Mechanics jailed after setting fire to autistic apprentice

Three colleagues chased the trainee around workshop with blowtorch while fourth leant against door to prevent escape

Mechanics jailed after setting fire to autistic apprentice

Four mechanics from a Lancashire garage have been jailed after setting fire to a vulnerable apprentice with a blowtorch.

The teenage victim, who suffers from autism, was bullied and abused by colleagues at a garage in Wesham, near Blackpool.

CCTV footage showed three of the attackers chasing the victim around the workshop, aiming the blow torch and accelerant towards him.

A fourth man leant against a door to prevent the victim escaping the attack.

The offenders eventually stopped and could be seen laughing, having left the victim in pain, police said.

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The apprentice suffered burns to his upper thighs and later attended a health centre where he told health workers what happened, with the matter reported to police.

Adam Lavelle, 34, Michael Jeffrey, 31, Soldon Legdani, 23, and Simon Hickinbottom, 45, have been jailed for their role at Preston Crown Court.

Lavelle was sentenced to 18 months in prison, Jeffrey was jailed for 14 months and Legdani for 10 months for section 20 wounding.

Hickinbottom was given 21 weeks in prison for common assault and providing a false statement.

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Detective Constable Jordan McDonald, of Lancashire Police said: “This was a horrendous attack which left the victim, a young man with autism, seriously injured.

“The men preyed upon his vulnerabilities, carrying out escalating threats which ultimately resulted in the victim being chased inside the locked garage, cornered by the offenders and set on fire, causing burns to his upper thighs.

“The bullying and abuse was revealed once the victim went for medical treatment, with the police then launching an investigation.

“While workplace bullying is unfortunately commonplace, the actions of these men went far beyond this.

“I am glad each of the men have received custodial sentences and can use their time to reflect on the gravity of their actions and the lasting impact it’s had on the victim.”


  1. You can’t do character building bullying they call it now any more this was pure vile though I do hope they get what is coming to them when their new bunkmates find out what they did to the poor lad

  2. There sentences were not long enough for what they did to the young lad in his mind he will be running the scenario every day autistic people have a different under standing and thought process than us .

  3. scum shoot them

  4. This story turns my stomach, and we wonder why we have a Technician skills shortage in the Aftermarket, enough said.


  5. This is absolutely sick. Doing this to any person is disgusting, but to an autistic person is beyond torture. These people should be tortured in return an locked up for life. I’m sad to say that the laws in this country are just too lenient. Where evidence such as this where they are proved 100% in the wrong, they should have their hands chopped off an imprisoned for life. Absolutely sickening.

  6. As a victim of this sort of behaviour myself at a main dealers body shop back in the 80’s my heart goes out to this young man.
    I honestly don’t believe the sentences given reflect the lasting affect that this vulnerable young man has suffered.
    Firstly they obviously held him against his own free will and secondly surely attempting to set fire and setting fire to someone is attempted murder.
    I do hope the bullies in the jail make these scum pick up the soap !

  7. This used to happen to my twin brother until he turned on the main protagonist and cracked him over the head with a hammer 🔨 also when doing the butty run he used to spit on their food

  8. Absolute low life scum bags !!!


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