A Hastings teenager who doused an acquaintance with petrol and set him alight at a party was this morning sentenced to three years in prison.
Matt-Dillion Shannon was sentenced in the High Court in Napier after a jury in found him guilty of intending to cause grievous bodily harm after a trial in September. He had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with careless disregard.
The jury took four hours to reach a verdict after a two-and-a-half day trial.
Shannon, now 18, was celebrating his 17th birthday at a party in his house on August 12 last year.
Shortly after midnight he poured petrol over a 16-year-old and set him alight with a cigarette lighter as three others held the victim down.
The victim suffered severe burns to his back, neck and one side of his face. He stripped off his burning T-shirt and rode his bicycle home before being taken to hospital and the intensive care unit.
Shannon claimed to have been copying a stunt he had seen on a Jackass movie.
Every action has a consequence, and Shannon has discovered that today. We have no sympathy whatsoever for him; his actions were quite simply stupid.
We hope however that this will be a learning experience. Prison is not a nice place, and Shannon will suddenly realise that when his cell door slams behind him tonight. Here's hoping that when he is released in a year or so, he resolves not to return.
All that's left to say is this: who's a Jackass now Matt?