A HEALTH and safety manager who set himself on fire has been fined £5,000 for the trauma caused to witnesses.

Phillip Dutton was engulfed in flames after he poured highly flammable cleaning liquid on to burning timber and other waste at a site in Vanguard Way, Shoebury The 41-year-old was seriously injured and spent three months in intensive care.

The base of the can of fluid was blown off and vapour from another open can nearby ignited, causing an explosion in which Dutton received serious burns to his body.

Heat from the blast melted parts of his safety hat to his head, Chelmsford Crown Court heard. Dutton twice died and was resuscitated in the ambulance taking him to hospital.

Others at the scene were left shocked as they saw him covered in flames after the incident on February 3, last year.

Dutton admitted a charge under the Health and Safety Act of failing as an employee to take reasonable care of the health and safety of himself and others.

He was told by Judge Rodger Hayward Smith QC he had been “extremely foolish.”

The judge added: “You were severely burned. You were in flames. Those who saw what happened suffered trauma.”

Dutton, formerly of Dorset Avenue, Chelmsford, but now living in Limassol, Cyprus, was jailed for four months suspended for two years. He was also told to pay £5,000 costs.

The court heard the incident took place at South Essex Stockholders, which trades as Industrial Metal Services at Vanguard Way, while rubbish was being burned.

At least one of the containers was marked highly inflammable, the court heard.

His barrister, Mark Roochove said: “He is the author of his own misfortune.”

He added: “His life, by his own actions, was wrecked, but after two years, is getting back on track and he plans to stay in Cyprus.”