UK & World News
Damion Sheldon Jailed For Setting Woman On Fire
A man who doused a woman in petrol and set her on fire has been jailed for 19 years for attempted murder.
Damion Sheldon, from Dudley, was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court for the horrific attack which was witnessed by a young girl and nearly killed a sleeping toddler.
The jury heard Sheldon had been celebrating his 42nd birthday on the night of December 1, 2012 when he telephoned his victim and threatened to kill himself.
He then bought some petrol and went to her house before pouring it through her letterbox. When the women went to investigate after being woken by her dog, she was confronted by Sheldon who threw petrol over her and set her alight.
The young girl helped the screaming woman pull her clothes off and put the flames out.
As Sheldon ignited a pool of petrol inside the house the woman screamed for help for another young child asleep in the house.
Neighbours alerted to her cries tried to break down the front door. But despite being badly burned the woman screamed out to them they should rescue the child upstairs first.
After climbing a ladder, a number of men used a sledgehammer to smash a bedroom window where the child was choking on deadly fumes.
Police officers who arrived on the scene assisted in the rescue before firefighters broke down a back door and made their way upstairs through the smoke and flames to rescue the unconscious toddler.
A fireman gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for five minutes before the child regained consciousness.
Sheldon had denied attempted murder and claimed not to remember events that night, but he pleaded guilty to arson.
DC Barnsley from Wolverhampton Police, said: "This was a horrific crime and is a measure of Sheldon's character he set fire to his victim's home in the dead-of-night.
"He coolly walked into the house and set fire where a baby was sleeping and like a coward he ran off and when captured he blamed his actions on alcohol.
"It is thanks to the woman's quick thinking, the brave girl's help and the actions of neighbours and the emergency services that prevented this from becoming a tragedy.
"I am satisfied the courts realised the sickening nature of Sheldon's crime and have handed down a fitting sentence. I am certain this will come as some comfort to all those affected by the fire."
The jury took four hours to find Sheldon guilty of attempted murder.