A DAD was left disfigured for life with 65 per cent of his body burnt when a former friend doused him in petrol and set him on fire YEARS after a row.
Father-of-two Phillip Payet was left with lifelong scars after twisted David Maddocks, 32, made good on his promise from jail to “get you” in the horrifying revenge attack in Melbourne, Australia.
Maddocks, of Lara, Victoria, accused Mr Payet of having “dobbed” him and his friends and in a chilling letter he wrote while locked up, he warned that when he was released, he would make his enemy suffer.
Mr Payet has now spent several painful years recovering after a number of gruelling surgeries.
The threat of what would happen came years earlier when Maddocks wrote to him from his jail cell, accusing his then good friend Mr Payet of giving police information on a crime he and friends had committed
Maddocks wrote: “I want to let you know this, you keep going and I will hit you where it hurts the most when I get out in 22 months.
“I just want you to know I’m going to get you one way or the other and I will wait 10 years if I have to.”
After a stream of threats, he ends the letter with: “I’m wasting my time telling you. You have a big surprise coming your way. Lots of love, your bestie, Dave.”
It was the end of 2016 when he finally got his cruel vengeance. Mr Payet had been outside his home in Frankston, south-east Melbourne, fixing the family car on Boxing Day.
He had been mending the stereo when he fell asleep in the vehicle that night.
But he woke up to being doused in ice-cold fuel, which he initially thought was his girlfriend playing a joke on him.
Mr Payet recalled watching in frozen shock as a lit Zippo lighter was tossed upon him.
“Suddenly I was engulfed in flames,” he said.
His whole body was on fire but he managed to break through the car window to escape.
He was left rolling around in unbearable agony as his eldest son ran to spray him down with a hose.
Mr Payet’s girlfriend Liz Lewis shared heartbreaking testimony of the distressing night in court ahead of Maddock’s sentencing next week.
“The events of that day continue to haunt me to this day … even after three-and-a-half years”, she said, according to news.com.au.
She said she had heard a disturbance outside and opened her curtains to see her boyfriend’s car on fire.
“I wasn’t aware at that point in time that my partner was burning alive.
“It was and still is a living nightmare.
Turning to Maddock, she asked: “How could you do such a thing?”
Mr Payet spent five months in hospital and suffered through many operations.
He had to learn to walk, talk and eat all over again while being left with 65 per cent of his body burnt.
He described his life as a “nightmare” where he now looked like a “freak show”.
Doctors said it was a miracle Mr Payet survived the attack, but he will live out the remainder of his life disfigured and in agony.
Despite the possession of the threatening jailhouse letter, Maddocks managed to cut a deal that saw him plead guilty to the lesser charge of intentionally causing serious injury.
His co-conspirator in the attack, Clinton Phillips, 41, has already been sentenced to seven years in prison.
He appeared in the County Court of Victoria on Thursday via videolink from his prison cell, where he was already serving time for another arson attack.
Maddock was jailed for six years in January after he filmed himself listening rapper MC Hammer’s hit track ‘U Can’t Touch This’ in front of a shed he had torched.
In that attack, Maddocks had claimed the shed owner had sold his sister’s horse over an unpaid debt.
He will be sentenced next week.