x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Firestarting inmate's jail term upheld

Inmate who started a fire in a detention centre has his three month jail term upheld by the Appeals Court.

DUBAI // The Appeals Court has upheld a three-month jail term for an inmate who started a fire in a detention centre.

It also ordered that the 31-year-old Emirati ME - who was in custody for a drug-related matter at the time of the fire in October 2010 - pay the Al Qusais Detention Centre Dh2,310 in damages.

Shortly after 2am on October 1, 2010, he set fire to two blankets in Ward B with a cigarette lighter. While he was caught on camera starting the fire, it was unclear where he got the lighter.

Heavy smoke spread through the ward causing many of his fellow detainees to require medical treatment for breathing difficulties. The fire also damaged the ward's phone booths and the paint on its walls.

EA, a 37-year-old policeman, said the prisoner often caused problems and would demand extra medication for the psychiatric disorder from which he suffers.

Almost two months after the fire, on November 27, heavy smoke was seen coming from the inmate's cell after he set fire to his mattress in a suicide attempt. For that incident he was sentenced to six months in prison.

salamir@thenational.ae