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A British court has jailed two young men for setting fire to a stranger's beard as he slept on a train.
The judge on Wednesday condemned the "cowardly and callous actions" by Dean Hardy, 20, and Aedan Palmer, 19, in the attack last December that left 22-year-old Luke Kennedy with severe burns to his lips, ears and cheeks.
During the trial, the court had heard that Hardy and Palmer had each drunk about 10 cans of beer before they boarded the train with two younger boys and sat down opposite Kennedy, who was sleeping in his seat.
Prosecutors said they began abusing Kennedy from the outset and then Palmer put a lighter to his "significantly long" beard and set it alight.
Closed-circuit television footage showed the group "smiling and laughing" as smoke billowed from Kennedy's beard, before they got off at the next station and ran off.
Other passengers raised the alarm and Kennedy was rushed to hospital, where he remained for two days. His ears were permanently disfigured in the attack.
The attack received wide press coverage and two days later, Hardy handed himself in. The other three members of the group were arrested the next day.
Hardy was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm following a two-week trial at Chichester Crown Court in southern England last month, and was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in a young offenders institution.
Palmer had already pleaded guilty and was ordered to serve 16 months. The two 14-year-old boys with them were cleared of all charges.
Judge Claudia Ackner told the defendants: "The travelling public are entitled to go about their lawful journeys without being subjected to wanton violence from people like you."
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