Leicester pub fire attack 'completely changed my life'

"I was on fire", says victim Russell Banks

Related Stories

A man who was seriously burnt in an arson attack on a Leicester pub has said his life has "completely changed".

Russell Banks was one of two men taken to hospital following the incident at the Rainbow and Dove pub on Charles Street in October.

Mr Banks, 21, said he was ashamed of his scars and hated the attacker for making him too scared to go out.

Police said a 21-year-old man arrested in November had been bailed pending further inquiries.

Mr Banks and Robert Laszewsk, 20, were on a works night out when a man threw flammable liquid into the beer garden of the pub.

'Lonely and heartbroken'

Mr Banks said: "All of sudden I was on fire. I felt everything, my eyes were open and I could see the flames, I could feel it in my mouth."

CCTV footage showed a man running away from the scene with his jacket on fire.

Since the attack Mr Banks has spent most of the time at Nottingham City Hospital receiving treatment for severe burns to his arms, chest, ears and face.

Russell banks before the attack Mr Banks said the attack has made him scared to go out

"I was scared, lonely and heartbroken because if anybody knew me before they would know I was a perfectionist," said Mr Banks.

"I loved to look after myself, dress myself well, do my hair nice, to think for one split second that was all taken away from me."

The 21-year-old, who is a performing arts graduate, said he "didn't want to be here anymore" when he awoke after the attack.

"He's changed my whole life completely. He's made me ashamed of my scars and not allowed me to go out. I hate him."

He added: "But it's a shame it takes something like this to make you realise how many people care for you."

Police have offered a £5,000 reward and in an attempt to trace the attacker.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Leicester

Weather

Leicester

21 °C 15 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.