THE fire that ripped through a car with the body of a man inside reached extreme temperatures of up to 700C (1,300F), a court was told.

So intense was the blaze, which is said to have been started deliberately, the glass in the windows and the alloy wheel trims completely melted.

Winchester Crown Court was hearing evidence from fire investigator Robin Furniss, who was called to assess the wreckage of a silver Mercedes belonging to Agim Hoxha which was found burnt out in a quiet country road. It is alleged that Arben Lleshi and Afrim Lleshi killed him inside a flat in Shirley Road, Southampton, before his body was removed in his car, which was then dumped at the side of a road in Chilworth and torched.

Jurors heard how Mr Furniss began his investigation into how the fire began while what remained of the body of the 29-year-old remained in position in the vehicle, behind the front seats of the car, on Tuesday, April 10, last year.

Describing the damage as “considerable” he told how the entire vehicle had caught light quickly and would, in his opinion, have been started by a naked flame such as a match being introduced to an ignitable liquid such as petrol.

The temperature had to be more than 600 degrees Celsius, the point at which glass melts, but could have been as high as 700 degrees, he added.

Jurors had earlier heard evidence from Chilworth Drove resident Anthony Dyson, who told how he was woken at 1.10am by a noise he described as a “dull boom”, then heard a second explosion, looked out of the window and saw flames through the trees.

Afrim Lleshi, 36, of Shirley Road and Arben Lleshi 25, of Onslow Road, both deny murder.

Arben denies a second charge of perverting the course of justice by, with Afrim, being concerned in the removal of Mr Hoxha’s body, taking it to Chilworth and setting it alight and also cleaning traces of blood from the crime scene.

Afrim pleaded guilty to the secondary charge moments before the trial began.