Vietnam police are reported to be hunting a Blackpool businessman after a woman was set on fire in her shop.
The police have said that they want to question Gary Iredale, 52, originally from Blackpool but who is thought to have lived in Australia for some years, over the alleged incident on Monday.
Single mum Nguyen Hang was left with 70 per cent burns to her face and body after a man wearing a mask ran into her shop, doused her in petrol and set her alight.
Tay Ho police in Hanoi say they are hunting the vending machine businessman who is believed to have left Vietnam for Thailand before moving on to the Philippines.
A neighbour, Ben Evans who is originally from Liverpool, spoke to the Gazette.
He said: "He is from Blackpool but also has an Australian passport. He’s lived abroad for a long time, but has elderly parents in Blackpool, he’s mentioned he owns land in Australia and has a daughter out there with an ex partner.
"My girlfriend and I live two floors below Gary in a communal apartment block in a quiet suburb in Hanoi. We’ve known Gary for 18 months since we moved in, he was, in my opinion a normal guy, lived alone, partner in a vending machine business, gym enthusiast, nothing really out of the ordinary.
"He seemed a popular guy with his peers.
"Over the past few months he’s had family troubles at home with ageing parents and regularly goes home to see them, usually a few weeks at a time."
On Monday evening just hours after the incident, police came to the apartment block asking questions.
He added: The next morning (Tuesday), Gary’s apartment was crawling with police, immigration, you name it, they were there. It was Tuesday afternoon we found out what happened. A great friend of mine Luke, called me up to tell me. His dad Alan Nicholls had witnessed it."
Alan Nicholls told the Gazette that the police were looking for Gary Iredale believed to be from Blackpool.
He confirmed that he had been in the shop with his wife and child when the alleged attack happened and that everyone in the area was shocked.
Police in Hanoi have confirmed that a warrant has been issued for Iredale's arrest and that he had fled Vietnam.
Lancashire Police have said they have not yet been contacted about the alleged incident.