A PAIR of men stood and watched and did not intervene as a victim was covered in petrol and set on fire twice, a court heard.

Ben Ince, 41, of no fixed address and Paul Bruns, 53, of York Road, Southend, are standing retrial at Basildon Crown Court charged with attempted murder after the man was set on fire in Southchurch Avenue on October 30, 2019.

It comes after Alan Archer, 33, of Fairmead Avenue, Westcliff, and Jane Reilly, 53, of Trowbridge Road, Harold Hill, were convicted by a jury of attempted murder at Basildon Crown Court following a threeweek trial and then jailed for 24 years each.

The jury could not come to a verdict over Ince and Bruns meaning the pair are standing a re-trial.

Opening the case yesterday John Cowdle told the jury the prosecution believe Ince and Bruns had intention to kill the man.


He said: “We say all four defendants embarked on the unlawful assault each intending he should die. Both Ince and Bruns deny being party to this plan and having any knowledge of it.

“The victim suffered horrendous injuries and he’s very lucky to be alive and didn’t leave hospital until December 18 2019.

“We suggest if you pour petrol over someone and then set them alight then you intend to at least cause really serious harm to them and there’s a probability you intend for them to die.

“To then go and dose that person in petrol and set them alight for a second time there can be no doubt that you intend for them to die.

“Reilly goes to a petrol station and fills up a can of fuel, Bruns and Ince were in the car at this time, what did they think was going to be done with it.

“We say they knew they were going to see the victim, why did they think the petrol was needed.”

He said video footage from homes and businesses nearby show Ince and Bruns standing by, watching and blocking the victims path of escape as he was what the prosecution described as “a fireball.”

Both Ince and Bruns deny attempted murder but admit to being with Archer and Reilly before, during and after the attack.

The trial continues.