A homeless man who doused two police officers in petrol before setting one of them on fire in Newquay has been jailed for ten-and-a-half years.
Blagovest Hadjigueorguiev, 30, left PC Darral Mares with severe burns to his legs and hand after he was engulfed in flames during the incident in September.
PC Mares, who was saved from further serious injury by the quick actions of his colleague, PC Alan Lenton, is still recovering from the attack, Cornwall Live reports.
He'd previously helped the homeless arsonist with his housing situation.
Bulgarian national Hadjigueorguiev, of no fixed abode, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on PC Mares with intent and attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm with intent on PC Lenton.
He was sentenced to ten-and-a-half years in prison by Judge Robert Linford at Truro Crown Court.
PCs Mares and Lenton were called to a field next to Trevenson Road on the morning of September 11 to support bailiffs tasked with evicting the offender from the land.
They were met with resistance from Hadjigueorguiev who threatened to "set them on fire" after he unscrewed the lid from a glass cider bottle containing petrol and stayed close to a home-made cooker with a naked flame.
Hadjigueorguiev doused both police officers in the liquid as they approached and tried to take hold of him. The fuel then ignited and PC Mares was engulfed in flames.
With no thought for his own safety, PC Lenton grabbed his colleague, pulled him away from the fire and rolled him in long grass to extinguish the flames.
He removed burnt clothing from PC Mares before applying handcuffs to Hadjigueorguiev, who had been restrained on the ground by bailiffs Matthew McLaren and Peter Temlett.
Within minutes several police officers from Newquay Police Station, including an off-duty PC, arrived at the scene.
PC Mares was taken to hospital by Cornwall Air Ambulance with significant burns to his left hand and both legs.
Prior to the incident, the defendant had several people visit him and ask him to leave, yet authorities continued to receive reports of anti-social behaviour and him washing himself in view of people at the Newquay Tretherras school.
Representing Hadjigueorguiev, Piers Norsworthy told the court that he studied at Truro College and worked in a nursing home but when his brother and his young child moved back into the family home there was no room for Hadjigueorguiev who became homeless.
After leaving temporary accommodation he set up his tent on land near to a Newquay secondary school, the tent donated to him by a local vicar.
Mr Norsworthy said: "He didn't plan on causing problems. He wanted to see out the winter with his belongings before moving north. He didn't understand the concept of the land belonging to the duchy and thought he was entitled to be there. He just wanted to be left alone.
"Prison has been exceedingly difficult. He is a quiet, introverted man and has been intimidated by others. He wishes to apologise to the officers."
Sentencing, Judge Linford described the attack as "wicked, deliberate and extremely violent act on a man who previously tried to help".
The court heard how PC Mares had previously tried to help Hadjigueorguiev with housing and Judge Linford commented that the defendant had intended to cause even more harm than what he actually did.
He described the effect on PC Mares as "profound" and spoke of the "excruciatingly pain" suffered at the time and during treatment.
PC Mares said: "My recuperation process is still ongoing, I am healing well and at this stage expected to recover without any further hospitalisation.
"Irrelevant of the sentencing result, my priority has always been my recovery and returning to full physical fitness.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who assisted me or my family on the day of the incident and also the incredible NHS staff at Treliske [hospital] and the Derriford Burns Unit.
"Over the past few months, the criminal investigation department (CID) at Newquay has worked relentlessly to proceed with this case. I would personally like to thank the team for all their hard work.
"We have been overwhelmed with the support from my colleagues, friends and the local community. I have received numerous kind gifts, videos and written messages of goodwill from persons unknown to me from all over the UK and as far away as Australia.
"This has been not only very humbling but a beneficial distraction to the incident.
"Sadly, since my incident, officers in London were subject to an attack and more prominently in the news was the tragic death of Sergeant Matt Ratana who was shot dead on duty in Croydon.
"Officers and staff know they have to take risks on occasions and understand that it comes with the nature of policing, but being assaulted on duty should never be condoned and seen as 'part of the job'."