A thief who attempted to falsely claim criminal injury compensation has failed after his story was proved to be bogus.
Steven Thornley from Marple, Cheshire had alleged that he was bundled into a van in broad daylight by four men wearing masks. He claimed they then proceeded to cover him in petrol and set him alight. He reported the incident to the police and made a claim for compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Mr Thornley had 40% burns to various areas of his body including his arms, legs and neck. One of his ears had partly melted off due to heat and burns too.
Police investigated the alleged assault and found Mr Thornley’s claim to be fraudulent. It was discovered that the convicted car thief had in fact inadvertently set himself on fire. This is reported to have happened while he was setting fire to a Ford Transit van he had stolen. A set of keys were found in the burnt wreckage of the van which are thought to have had his name written on then. Experts who analysed Mr Thornley’s injuries deduced that they were caused by being hit by a back-draft of flames rather than being covered in petrol himself.
He was convicted of fraud, arson and perverting the cause of justice.