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Serial car arsonist jailed for seven years

The Local · 3 Apr 2012, 15:06

Published: 03 Apr 2012 15:06 GMT+02:00

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The 28-year-old, whose name was not released, was found guilty of setting 102 vehicles alight in July and August 2011 out of frustration and social envy, the court said in a statement.

A judge at the regional court said that the man’s “excessive need for recognition” had sparked fear across the whole of the city and even put human lives in danger, as on certain occasions flames from a burning vehicle would lick at nearby buildings.

In one instance, an old people's home in the Charlottenburg district of the city had to be evacuated.

The unemployed man told the court how he felt that “those with more money should feel fear too.” The prosecution applied for him to be jailed for eight years, but the judge settled on seven years.

In Germany, arsonists can face anything between one and 15 years in prison. The suspect, who admitted to setting up to 12 cars on fire in a single night, would have received a ten year sentence if he had not have pleaded guilty when he first appeared in court in October last year.

After assessing the burnt vehicles, a surveyor concluded that the 28-year-old was completely to blame and that “he wanted to play first violin in the arsonist orchestra.”

Investigators managed to track the man down after they spotted him on CCTV footage at a metro station near to where he had set fire to a vehicle moments earlier.

By the time of his arrest, he had stopped the arson attacks after finding a job in a restaurant kitchen so often worked at night.

Story continues below…

DAPD/DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:33 April 3, 2012 by asteriks
political sentence without any proof for more than 12 cars. judicial system serve riches who finance political parties.
17:45 April 3, 2012 by derExDeutsche
judging from the comment above, the arsonist is not alone in his 'social envy'
19:35 April 3, 2012 by Whipmanager
I remember last year or the year before, a doctor used Lemon Juice to clean wounds and actually caused the death of a few people (was is 4?) and he got less time and will be eligible to be a doctor again in about 10-15 years. this person burnt soem cars, and should get more time in jail, but if you get less time for killing people, why should he get this much? I am just asking that the German legal system make sense and be just.
21:53 April 3, 2012 by neunElf
I can understand protecting the identity of the accused, but cannot understand why the guilty should continue to receive this consideration.

Insofar as sentencing is concerned I think this person was nothing less than a terrorist and should be treated accordingly!
23:48 April 3, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
If I remember rightly, this spate of car burnings last summer was attached to anti-capitalism protest. As it turns out, it is just a bitter twisted grudge. He burnt cars indiscriminately without knowing who the owner was or the background of how these people could afford what he could not. This has nothing to do with anti-capitalism protest and this person is just a loser and criminal. There is nothing wrong with working or making business to better oneself and afford a better life your you and your family. There is a lot wrong with the political structre that allows bankers manipulate the market and ruin lives by corruption. If he ever had an ideals, he might have protested in a proper fashion against these individuals in the same way as "Occupy Wall Street". I hope he has learnt his lesson. Harsh one as it is but well deserved by burning more than 100 cars. We all pay for that in insurance.
02:19 April 4, 2012 by derExDeutsche
As I remember, this is a 'Occupy Wall St.' Supporter just as his father is, who is also a Lefty Politician. But then again we also pay for the vandalism, destruction of property, and police state build up that 'Occupy Wall St.' cause, also.
02:51 April 4, 2012 by frankiep
What's more disturbing - The fact that a social parasite like this was able to cause so much damage before finally being caught and sent to prison where he belongs, or the excuses being made for his actions as evidenced by some of the comments here.
09:08 April 4, 2012 by jodessa
you get more time for arson than murder or assault. What is wrong with this picture??
09:02 April 5, 2012 by Craptastic
Hold on there, folks, destruction of property does not a political statement make...unless the statement you would like to make is that your position is so weak that you cannot argue it verbally so you would like to force people to your views through fear. That's called terrorism.

Jodessa, I see your point very well. I think that this person pleading guilty is what caused this sentence and I think he was his own worst enemy in this. He just couldn't shut up.
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