Monster who set fire to neighbour has jail sentence increased to life

Monster who set fire to his neighbour and watched her burn as he calmly smoked a cigarette has his 19-year jail sentence increased to life

  • Raymond Bowen was jailed for 19 years for attempted murder of Kirsten Ashby 
  • He doused Ms Ashby in petrol and watched as she turned into a human fireball  
  • Mother-of-one’s face melted and she is still in hospital with no hands or ears
  • Judge described Bowen as ‘utterly cruel and callous’ as he increased sentence

Raymond Bowen has had his jail sentenced increased to life after the sickening attack on his neighbour

A monster who laughed as he doused a young mother in petrol and turned her into a ‘human fireball’ has had his jail sentence increased to life.

Raymond Bowen threw petrol over Kirsten Ashby, 27, before setting her alight and smoking a cigarette while she screamed in agony as her face melted away and her hair burned to a cinder.

The mother-of-one, who had been trying to help Bowen’s girlfriend as she had a fit, was left with no hands or ears and remains in hospital some eight months after the sickening attack in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. 

Father-of-five Bowen admitted a single charge of attempted murder and blew kisses to his girlfriend from the dock as he was sentenced at Luton Crown Court in April.

But today Lord Justice Davies said the sentence was ‘unduly lenient’ for an ‘utterly cruel and callous’ man.

Even Bowen’s own barrister Laban Leake admitted the jail term was lenient and he would have had ‘no cause for complaint’ if he had received a life sentence.

Ms Ashby suffered third degree burns in the attack and must spend 20 hours every day in a compression body stocking and face mask for the next two years.

She needed her fingers amputated after the tips melted away and will need care for the rest of her life. 

Kirsten Ashby, 27, (left before the attack and right after), will need care for the rest of her life after suffering horrific injuries in the crazed attack

Bowen had taken cocaine and downed a whole bottle of Jack Daniels before the completely unprovoked attack on November 17 last year. 

Ms Ashby had come to the aid of his partner Lauren Russell who had been having a fit, but as she suggested calling an ambulance Bowen launched his attack.

Bowen stood and smirked while Ms Ashby screamed in agony as her body went up in flames 

He got petrol from his shed and poured it over the top half of her body before setting her alight with his lighter.

Bowen stood ‘smugly’ smoking a cigarette while listening to her screams – witnessed by Russell and two of their youngest children who were standing by the door. 

It took another neighbour to call an ambulance after seeing Ms Ashby’s charred body on the floor once Bowen had fled the scene.

Ms Ashby was rushed to hospital where a priest read her last rites as she wasn’t even expected to make it through the night.

As he increased Bowen’s sentence to life with a minimum of 12 years, Lord Justice Davies told the court today: ‘We have found this to be an extremely difficult and upsetting case.

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‘The summary of events illustrates just how utterly cruel and callous the actions of the offender were, and the appalling life changing affects on Kirsten and her family.

‘She and they will have everyone’s total sympathy. He ought to be remorseful for the rest of his life.’ 

Speaking after Bowen was sentenced in April, Ms Ashby’s mother Lynn (pictured with her daughter before the attack) blasted Bowen’s partner Lauren Russell for standing by him 

Robert Buckland QC, prosecuting, told Appeal Court Judge Lord Justice Davis, Mr Justice Goss and Mr Justice Kerr, that the case would not be the last where victims were left with horrific injuries.

He said: ‘The starting point in this case should have been a life sentence. 

‘Sadly this is unlikely to be the only case that will be for the court due to modern medicine that keeps victims alive who would have died without it.’ 

Speaking after Bowen was sentenced in April, Ms Ashby’s mother Lynn blasted Bowen’s partner Lauren Russell for standing by him.

Father-of-five Bowen blew kisses to his girlfriend Lauren Russell (pictured) from the dock as he was sentenced at Luton Crown Court in April

She told Mail Online: ‘I think it’s sick that she’s standing by him. Now my daughter is the one left serving a life sentence.

‘She’s already had 80 operations and she’ll continue having surgery for the rest of her life.’ 

Mr Ashby’s father Paul, 54, added: ‘Her lasting memory is the click of a lighter and we think he threw it at her. 

‘He stood there watching her desperately try to put out the flames. He’s never once shown any regrets at all for what he’s done.’

A fundraising page has been set up to help Ms Ashby and her nine-year-old daughter, who is being cared for by her grandparents. 

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