Dad set on fire by thugs as horrified woman finds burnt handprint on her door

A dad was yards from his pregnant wife and son when he was doused in petrol and burnt alive.

Wayne Trotter was killed on his way home from work just in 2002, after suffering deadly 90% burns to his body.

Neighbours in Borehamwood's Farriers Way estate in Hertfordshire rushed to put out the flames engulfing the father but were too late.

A resident claimed Wayne's burnt handprint – left behind as he struggled to stay alive – stained a door for months after his death.

The thugs who set the 30-year-old alight shortly after midnight on December 5 were never brought to justice with pleas for a specific witness going unanswered.

Wayne Trotter had got off the bus from working as a shift team leader at a plastics factory in Hendon when 20 minutes later a woman was heard screaming.

She cried: "Stop it, stop it, leave him alone."

In a desperate attempt for help while ablaze Wayne knocked on the doors of five houses saying "they threw something at me. I was blinded and could not see a thing," before collapsing.

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Residents chucked pans of water over him and wrapped him in blankets until ambulance and fire crews arrived who could do no more to save him, BorehamwoodTimes reported.

The sickening attack hit the community hard and was enough to make some leave the estate, including Wayne's widow who started a new life in Ireland with their two children.

Neighbour Tracy Peters told the Borehamwood Times in 2005: "He was set on fire just outside my home. Here you can still see the scorch marks outside my house.

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"I couldn't go out and help him that night as my baby daughter was upstairs screaming and I couldn't leave her alone, but I still feel guilty about that to this day.

"My next-door neighbour helped and I doubt it is something she will ever get over. How can you? She had Wayne's burnt handprint on her door for months.

"Initially, people who wanted to move couldn't as nobody would buy a house on the estate because of what happened, but now everyone seems to be selling. Three years on, it is still very much at the forefront of people's minds."

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Another, Penny Brim, said her son had not been the same since the hideous crime.

She said: "Since the murder, he has had trouble sleeping and still does even now. He's very nervous and edgy and wants to leave but we can't. It's just scary that those who did it are still walking around."

Caroline Whiteman, from the same street, said: "It made me feel physically sick. You watch programmes like The Bill and see things like that but never expect it to happen on your doorstep.

"After it happened, my children and I started sleeping downstairs together as we were petrified. We didn't want to be alone.

"Time doesn't make you any less scared. Every time you walk down the road, you always remember. It's there all the time in the back of your mind. You constantly wonder if you are walking with the murderers. That will never go away."

Anyone with any information about Wayne's murder should call the incident appeal line on 01707 354236 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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