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Arsonist petrol bombs cars, accidentally sets fire to own head

An Arsonist who attempted to petrol bomb two cars accidentally set his own head on fire.

A man who attempted to firebomb two cars ended up setting fire to his own head, leaving him with red burn marks to the top of his head. Karl McGarry, 25, may have inadvertently re-enacted his own version of the 1990 Christmas film Home Alone, where Harry Lime of the Wet Bandits burnt his head with a lighted aerosol can. Just like Harry, Mr McGarry was also left in agony with a scorched bonce.

The mishap occurred on an already warm summer’s evening in July 2011, when McGarry had been recruited by local drugs baron Eugene Price, 34, to firebomb the cars in St. Helens. Price ordered McGarry to carry out the arson attack on the cars belonging to a rival family he was involved in a 20-year feud with. 

The wife of McGarry’s victim looked out of her bedroom window to see the man draw up outside in a Volvo and get out with a friend. They then proceeded to smash the windows of several cars and pour petrol inside, but McGarry came unstuck when he put his head inside one of the cars to light the petrol and set his head on fire. 

The Maughan family were the victims of four more firebomb attacks, which left the streets in St Helens, Merseyside, full of “fear and misery.” 

Mitigation defence lawyer Stephen Swift said: “[McGarry] was utterly and completely out of his depth.” But Judge Denis Watson, QC, said: “There has been a steady escalation of violence. It had become nothing short of a vendetta.” 

Price was amongst eight men who were jailed for a total of 97 years at a hearing for drug, firearm, and arson conspiracies. 

It was revealed that Price made about £1m a year from his self styled drugs store, which had over 100 visits from addicts every day. But since the arrest, crime levels in the town have “fallen significantly” and locals have said the streets are much “quieter and safer.” 

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