Two men have been jailed for setting a taxi on fire in a petrol station after asking the driver to stop there so they could buy beer.
Warren Hearne, 36, and Danny Frost, 27, had called the cab after being thrown out of a pub on December 15 last year.
During the journey they threatened their driver, Abdulawar Malikzadev, with an iron bar and Hearne attempted to open his passenger door while the vehicle was moving.
The pair then instructed the driver to stop at the BP station in Hythe, Kent so they could buy beer.
Instead of going inside the shop, father-of-three Hearne began acting ‘suspiciously’ and stumbled into a petrol pump.
He then pointed the nozzle inside the car and squirted 41p worth of petrol on the back seat, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Mr Malikzadev fled the vehicle seconds after the petrol in the car was set alight.
Frost was still sat in the back of the taxi when the fire started, later joining Hearne in running from the scene ‘like cowards’, Prosecutor Miles Trigg said.
Kent Fire and Rescue service and Kent Police were called to put out the blaze while Hearne and Frost attempted to get away by hailing another cab.
Footage released by police showed the car was alight for 10 minutes while stationed dangerously close to a petrol pump.
The men were later caught by police.
They both pleaded guilty to arson, with Hearne sentenced to six years and four months and Frost receiving 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.’