Terrified driver flees taxi after passengers set it alight at petrol station

A terrified taxi driver was forced to jump from his cab after two drunk passengers doused it in petrol and set it alight.

The victim is seen jumping from the vehicle at a petrol station forecourt just seconds before its engulfed in flames.

Attackers Warren Hearne and Danny Frost have today been jailed for more than five years each for the shocking incident.

The victim had picked up Hearne, 36, and Frost, 27, after a night out in Hythe, Kent, on December 15 last year.

They then asked him to stop at a nearby petrol station so they could "buy beer."

The driver pulled into a nearby garage at around 11pm but neither of the passengers went inside the shop.

Instead, Hearne opened the back door of the taxi and started "acting suspiciously."

CCTV footage then showed Hearne loitering around the taxi before stumbling into a petrol pump and grabbing it from its stand.

He is then seen pushing the nozzle inside the back seat – just inches away from the victim.

The driver is seen speaking to Hearne who seems to shove the petrol nozzle at him in response.

The victim jumps out his vehicle seconds before his cab bursts into flames – but then runs back and grabs items from his door.

Kent Fire and Rescue service and Kent Police rushed to the scene and cordoned of the forecourt as the fire was extinguished.

Hearne and Frost managed to run away, but they were by the CCTV and arrested shortly afterwards.

Both men pleaded guilty to reckless arson and were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court.

Hearne received six years and four months in prison, and Frost was sentenced to five years and seven months in prison.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Kay Brown said: "This was an extremely dangerous thing to do, which could have caused significant harm to anyone nearby at the time.

"Luckily the driver escaped the incident without injury but his vehicle, which is his livelihood, was destroyed in the fire.

"There is no excuse for what they did and thankfully they will serve time in prison for this unprovoked and reckless attack on an innocent man.

"I hope this sentence will give them time to consider the consequences of their actions and make better choices in the future."

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