Man jailed for setting fire to homeless man's sleeping bag - Reading

27/02/2014

A man appeared at Reading Crown Court today, Thursday, 27 February 2014, and was jailed for three years four months imprisonment after setting fire to a homeless man’s sleeping bag as he slept in it in Reading.

Ikramul Hoque, aged 19, of Longbarn Lane, Reading, pleaded guilty to one count of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered at Reading Crown Court on 03 January.

When pleading guilty, Hoque denied he knew anyone was in the sleeping bag, so a further hearing took place on 14 February for the court to decide whether this was the case or not.

At the hearing on 14 February, the court determined Hoque had known the victim was sleeping in the sleeping bag and he was released on bail to reappear for sentencing at the same court today where he was sentenced to three years four months imprisonment.

At about 10pm on Tuesday, 10 May 2013, a 43-year-old man was sleeping rough outside the library in Reading town centre. Hoque, who was walking past with a friend, was heard to say "let's set this guy on fire" and used his lighter to set the sleeping bag on fire.

The victim woke up and put the fire out. He sustained burns to the bottom of his feet, which required hospital treatment.

Hoque was arrested in connection with the incident on 10 June and was subsequently charged on 24 September following advice from Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).