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Man left with no eyebrows after setting fire to own car

William Clark suffered burns after torching his £8000 vehicle near his Aberdeen home.

William Clark: Initially told police he had been 'cleaning his oven'.
William Clark: Initially told police he had been 'cleaning his oven'. PA

A man scorched off his eyebrows and eyelashes after he "culpably and recklessly" set fire to his own car.

William Clark, 34, also suffered burns to his body after torching the vehicle near his Aberdeen home.

He later told police he had been injured "cleaning his oven" but doctors noticed he had petrol in his eyes when he was admitted to hospital.

Clark set fire to his car on Powis Crescent in the early hours of December 20 last year. Neighbours heard a loud bang and looked out to see smoke pouring from the £8000 vehicle.

He admitted setting fire to the vehicle when he appeared at the city's sheriff court last month.

During the hearing, prosecutor Laura Begg said: "Another neighbour was woken up by banging noises outside his flat, he went outside and saw the accused stumbling near to the locus."

Ms Begg said Clark woke up his sleeping partner when he returned home.

She said: "At that point she could see he had blood on his face and smelled of fire and smoke. He was upset and crying, he repeatedly said: 'I'm burned, I'm burned.'"

The court heard that when she asked him if it was anything to do with his car, he nodded and said: "I'm going to get money for the car."

When firefighters arrived to put out the blaze, a lighter was found near the car's bumper. Police who visited Clark's home said his manner was hostile.

Ms Begg said: "They saw the accused had no eyebrows or lashes and the front of his hair was singed.

"His face was covered with cream. He told them the cream was for burns sustained cleaning his oven."

Officers noted that part of his scalp was burned as well as his forehead.

Defence lawyer Alex Burn said Clark had been thrown back when the car exploded.

He said Clark suffered from mental health issues, and added: "It's clear to see there's something bizarre going on."

Sentencing Clark on Monday, Sheriff Alison Stirling placed him on a community payback order with 12 months of supervision.

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