STUDENTS from Chester University have pleaded guilty to setting fire to their best friend in a drunken ‘prank’ which left him fighting for his life.
Jack Brown, 20, and Rohan Foley, 21, were celebrating an end-of-term party in a Manchester city centre flat when they doused 18-year-old Glenn Collins with rum and set him alight while he slept.
Sport science undergraduate, Collins, was engulfed by a fireball and taken to hospital where he had to be put on a life support machine.
He suffered horrific burns to 20% of his body after the incident in June.
Collins’ recovery was complicated by chest infections, but he has since been discharged from the burns unit at Wythenshawe Hospital after receiving skin grafts.
He is currently being treated at the Whiston Hospital in Merseyside and is likely to be scarred for life.
Brown, an American gap-year student, and Foley, an Australian student, now face a jail sentence after they both pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm during a Manchester Crown Court hearing on Friday.
All three friends were students together at Chester University and were part of a group who had taken part in a series of life-threatening stunts and pranks in the days leading up to party in Manchester.
Days earlier it was Foley who had been the victim of an attack in which pals tried to set fire to his hair with a home-made flame thrower because they thought it would be ‘funny’.
He escaped without serious injury.
It is also understood that hours before Glenn Collins was set alight a number of revellers at the student flat in Berry Street, Manchester, had been throwing knives at one another.
Mr Collins, who is from Skelmersdale, suffered third degree burns to the left side of his face, his left arm, and all of his chest.
Michael Lavery, prosecuting, told the court: “He is suffering the difficulties in returning to his old life because of the invalidity occasioned by this act.”
Charges of grievous bodily harm with intent were dropped against the pair after their guilty pleas.
Mr Lavery said: “The Crown takes the view that this was a prank that went wrong and the Crown does not intend to put forward to a jury any intention to cause really serious harm.
“The views of the complainant have been canvassed and he’s in agreement with the course taken.”
Foley and Brown, both of Uckfield, East Sussex, will be sentenced on September 3.