Woman left with 60 per cent burns to her body was not expected to survive as attacker is jailed

A woman who was left with 60 per cent burns to her body and was not expected to survive a horrific arson attack on her home, a court heard.

Connor O'Rourke, 23, was seen pouring fuel over the front garden and bins of the property, before making the area go up in flames with a lighter.

The 40-year-old woman was at her home in Ratten Row, Wadworth, Doncaster with four other members of her family, when the fire engulfed their property on June 26, last year.

Connor O'Rourke, 23, was seen pouring fuel over the front garden and bins of the property, before making the area go up in flames with a lighter. Doncaster Crown Court heard how earlier that day, he had had an argument with one of the residents living at the property.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

With the family inside, the blaze quickly travelled towards the house. Emergency services were called to the scene at 9.50pm.

Detective Inspector Lee Townley, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "I can only imagine the fear that engulfed the occupants of that home in the moments following O’Rourke lighting the fire.

“A 40-year-old woman, who was inside the property at the time, was so badly burned that initially she was not expected to survive. She sustained over 60 per cent burns to her body. Thankfully, she is now on the road to recovery - but this will be long and painful.

“A 20-year-old woman who saw him light the fire suffered burns to her legs that required hospital treatment. She is still dealing with the after-effects of her injuries.”

Three other people in the house were luckily able to escape uninjured. The house was left with significant damage.

DI Townley said: “The devastation this incident has caused is huge - a family has been left traumatised."

O'Rourke, of Beechfield Road, arson denied arson and went on trial at Doncaster Crown Court last month where a jury found him guilty.

He was sentenced to four years in prison when he appeared at the same court on Friday, March 5.

DI Townley said: "I am pleased with the sentence handed to O'Rourke.

"He now has a significant period in prison to consider the implications of his actions and the harm he has caused.

and for them I am pleased with the sentence handed to O’Rourke today. He now has a significant period in prison to consider the implications of his actions, and the harm he has caused.”