The Jackass-influenced teenager who
doused a boy in petrol and set him on fire has been sentenced
to three years in prison.
Matt-Dillion Shannon, 18, was sentenced in the High Court at
Napier this morning for his role in a horrific attack which
left a 16-year-old in hospital with burns to his back, neck,
shoulders and face. A jury found him guilty of causing
grievous bodily harm with intent after a three-day trial in
Shannon's defence lawyer Bill Calver had argued the incident
was a practical joke, or stunt, influenced by the Jackass
movies that went horribly wrong. Shannon had pleaded guilty
to a lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm with
reckless disregard, but denied the intent.
During the trial the court heard how the victim, an
acquaintance of Shannon's, was held down and covered in
petrol in a bedroom during Shannon's 17th birthday party on
August 13, 2011.
The victim had been ill with glandular fever and the loud
music at Shannon's party was giving him a headache so he went
and sat down in the room. But while resting, several people
entered the room and he was held down, doused in petrol and
set on fire.
"He got a lighter out and I remember saying 'Matt, please
don't do this' and he lit it," the victim said during the
"The pain was like nothing you'd ever imagine you could
possibly feel. I was screaming for about 20 seconds while I
was held down."
After he managed to get up and take his shirt off, he said he
was screaming and asking for help but "everybody was just
standing round laughing" before one person helped pat the
At the time, Shannon worked at a petrol station.
During the trial, Crown prosecutor Russell Collins described
it as a cynical act of bullying and pack mentality.
- Hawke's Bay Today