'˜I feel I need to sleep with one eye open'
A HOMELESS man who had his bedding urinated on and set on fire has said the attack has made him feel like sleeping '˜with one eye open'.
In the early hours of April 9 friends Nicola King and Jerely Evans approached Roy Ransom on Commercial Road in Portsmouth, and handed him money to go and buy a drink.
But when he returned, the pair became abusive and later set his bedding and possessions alight.
Speaking about life since the attack Mr Ransom, who has been sleeping rough for about nine years, told The News: ‘When I returned they were getting aggressive and abusive to passers-by. I asked them to stop but they were throwing bottles in the road.
‘I got up and left, and that was when they went through my stuff. I was talking to one of the other homeless guys and I didn’t know anything had happened until the fire crews turned up.’
Emergency services were quickly on the scene to extinguish the fire, and police body camera footage showed the pile of bedding being destroyed by the blaze.
Reliving the aftermath of the fire, Mr Ransom said: ‘I was upset, angry and confused. My first thought was how I would protect myself.
‘Later on I think the shock set in and I thought what would have happened if I had been in bed.’
Both King and Evans were jailed for four months earlier this year.
Mr Ransom said he felt ‘justice was done’ by the two women being caught by police, but felt they deserved a longer sentence behind bars.
‘When I heard they had got four months I wasn’t impressed. I was angry, if I had been in bed still I could have lost my life.
‘I wasn’t offered any compensation.
‘It does show though that people can’t get away with doing stuff like that to homeless people. The law is about protecting us as well.
‘It makes you feel like you want to sleep with one eye open, or not at all.’
Despite his ordeal, members of the public have supported Mr Ransom, which has allowed him to replace nearly everything he lost in the attack.
He said: ‘People have given me a lot of bedding and they have done their best to help me.
‘People have recognised me from the CCTV in the news, but I tell them about it when they talk to me.’
On October 6 King, 23, of fixed address, pleaded guilty to arson by passing a lighter to Evans outside the former Millets store.
Evans, 25, of Lockerley Road in Havant, was previously jailed for four months as well and lost a crown court appeal to overturn the sentence.