Wrongly accused ‘paedophile’ burnt alive

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 04 Desember 2014 | 20.01

Two men who burnt another man alive after wrongly accusing him of being a paedophile have each been sentenced to five years in jail. Source: Supplied

TWO men who doused a man in petrol at a suburban barbecue and set him alight because they wrongly thought he was a paedophile have each been sentenced to five years in jail.

Shay Barry Webster, 22, was sentenced to five years and three months while Jason Alistor Barr, 44, was given five years and seven months for their role in the death of Terry Martin Smith, 55, the New Zealand Herald reports.

The tragic events took place on Anzac Day 2013 when all three had been drinking at a barbecue in Christchurch.

Sometime during the day Webster and Barr accused Smith of being sexually attracted to children — an accusation he denied and had been backed up by police.

However the pair attacked him in a bedroom and poured petrol over his body. They then flicked a cigarette lighter close to him, leading flames to ignite.

Despite efforts to put the flames out, Mr Smith was rushed to hospital and placed in an induced coma.

He undertook surgery for burns to nearly one third of his body and died on May 8 last year as a result of his injuries.

At the sentencing, Judge Cameron Mander said it was an "agonising death" for Mr Smith. His wife Michelle Smith said she was worried about the "high risk" of the pair reoffending given they have more than 100 prior convictions between them.

"We want to stress to the general public that this could be you in this situation, where a loved family member has been taken away and the value of their life has been minimalised by what we believe to be a totally inadequate sentence." she told the New Zealand Herald.

Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh told the court the tragic death was a "painful and frightening" way to die but said it was difficult to prove murderous intent.

Defence lawyers for Webster said the event was an alcohol fuelled tragedy that was distressing and unintended.


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