The Canterbury Hub

Latest news from CCCU's Journalism course

Live NewsNewsTop Stories

Arsonists jailed for horrific Hythe taxi fire

Two arsonists appeared in court today to be sentenced for setting fire to a taxi in Hythe last year.

Warren Hearne and Danny Frost have been jailed for more than five years each, after being found guilty.

The defendants told the taxi driver, Abdul Awal, to pull up in the BP station forecourt at around 11:45pm to buy some beer.

CCTV footage shows Hearne opening the back door of the taxi and acting suspiciously before the incident. He then stumbled to a petrol pump and pointed it into the back seat of Awal’s car.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Kay Brown said:

“This was an extremely dangerous thing to do, which could have caused significant harm to anyone nearby at the time. Luckily the driver escaped the incident without injury but his vehicle, which is his livelihood, was destroyed in the fire.”

Awal claimed that one of the men then pumped petrol from a nozzle on to the back seat of his car whilst the other set fire to it.

The taxi went up in flames as the driver grabbed his belongings and fled to safety. Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to the scene where the forecourt and road was closed whilst the fire was put out. The matter was also reported to Kent Police.

Hearne from Dymchurch Road in Hythe and Frost from Hever Gardens in Ashford were identified from the CCTV footage and arrested soon after the incident.

Herne received six years and four months in prison. Frost was sentenced to five years and seven months.