Mother warns against 'pranks' after teenage son has face set alight

A mother has warned against dangerous 'pranks' after her teenage son suffered horrific burns when lighter fluid was poured over his face and set alight.

Mary Hagans, from west Belfast, told that her 18-year-old son Padraig had been out with friends on Saturday night and gone back to a house.

He had fallen asleep in a bedroom and woke at around 7am to "the feeling of water running down his face".

According to Ms Hagans, Padraig realised that it was lighter fluid but another man in the room "just lit a lighter and his whole head went on fire".

Her son said that the others in the room laughed as he attempted to extinguish the flames.

Speaking to Irish News, the mother-of-four said that her son "could have been coming home to me in a coffin".

Padraig went to hospital and was later sent home, after attending his GP yesterday he was sent back to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment and with a referral to see plastic surgeons.

"I feel heartbroken. I feel really, really annoyed that someone would do this to him. I just can't describe it," said Ms Hagans.

It's a terrible shock to me and my son. All he has done is cry, he is so heartbroken. He could have died and they stood and laughed. The doctors said it looks as if there is going to be a lot of scarring.

"He is still very, very shaken up. I think he is actually in shock. His whole body is shaking from head to toe. He can't sleep with the pain, it is horrific."

Ms Hagan warned against the dangers of so-called pranks and said she wanted to make other parents aware of what happened.

"Parents need to talk to their children about doing pranks," she told Irish News.

"It's not a game. They are all playing with fire and somebody is going to end up hurt or on fire."

Last night, the PSNI said that an 18-year-old man was arrested and questioned on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

He has since been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Digital Desk

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