A family has been left living in fear after arsonists torched two cars at their home, a court has heard.
Mohammed Jalil, 20, Naveed Ahmed, 27, Hasib Waheed, 22, and Mohammed Akubat, 23, have been jailed after admitting charges of arson endangering life.
Preston Crown Court heard their victims - a couple and their three children - still suffer from the psychological scars of that night 16 months ago.
“I wake up at night thinking I can hear strange noises,” said Mrs Asma Mohmed in a victim impact statement to the court. “It worries me that when they come out they will come back for us.”
Mrs Mohmed said her children were “worried” and “frightened”, adding: “We could have died in that fire.”
The attack happened in Kennington Road, Fulwood at 3.15am on June 6 last year, when the Mohmeds were asleep in bed.
Even though two of the four men did not get out of the getaway vehicle when the family’s cars were doused in petrol on the drive, Judge Michael Byrne ruled they were all guilty of joint enterprise.
“Precisely who poured the petrol and who lit the spark doesn’t matter,” said the judge. “This was a joint enterprise in which all the defendants were involved.”
The court was told Jalil, of Fishwick Parade, Preston, bore a grudge against the Mohmeds’ 18-year-old son after the two friends fell out over money. It reached a head when Mrs Mohmed’s car had its windows smashed one night. The following day, the four men arrived in Kennington Road in the middle of the night after buying a can of petrol at a filling station. Ahmed, of Franklands Drive, Ribbleton, Preston, and Waheeb, of Brixton Road, Frenchwood, were seen on CCTV to get out of the car and both vehicles were set alight.
Jalil, whose argument with the Mohmed’s son had caused the arson attack, stayed in the vehicle along with Akubat, of St Paul’s Road, Deepdale.
The fire was so ferocious that it spread to the front of the house, melting the front door and windows.
The family were roused by a loud bang and managed to get out of the rear of the house.
All five were shocked, with Mrs Mohmed needing treatment for smoke inhalation.
Passing sentence, Judge Michael Byrne said: “The family were asleep upstairs and had the fire not been discovered when it was, it is likely their means of escape would have been compromised.
“In my view, it is clear that anyone starting a fire in these two cars stood where they were should have appreciated the risk of damage to the house and the risk of harm to the occupants therein.”
He said the incident had left a “lingering and substantial feeling of terror and alarm to the family.” It has also brought shame on the families of the accused men.
Ahmed was sent to jail for six years, both Jalil and Waheed got four years and two months, and Akubat four years.
Judge Byrne imposed a restraining order on all four men from contacting the Mohmeds’ son, or entering Kennington Road for 10 years.