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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Jobless man started police station fire as guards would not get him cigarettes and takeaway

Emirati was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday over fire at Dubai police station cell block. 

A prisoner who set fire to a police station cell because he was not given cigarettes and a takeaway meal has been sentenced to six months in jail.

The unemployed Emirati detainee, 31, demanded that guards give him cigarettes and order him in food from outside or else he would burn the place down.

Dubai Criminal Court was told on Monday that the lives of fellow prisoners were at risk during the incident in April 2014 at Rashidiya police station’s cell block.

“He kept demanding food and cigarettes and threatening that he would burn the place down, and on the day of the fire he had demanded cigarettes too,” a police lieutenant, 30, said.

The officer was first alerted to a fire in the dining hall at about 4pm. He went to check and found that flames had engulfed the area and that CCTV cameras had been covered with newspaper.

“We discovered that he used strips of his bed mattress to start the fire,” said the lieutenant.

A forensics report said that the fire was most probably started using a lighter, though it was never found.

The defendant was convicted of issuing threats, starting a fire, causing Dh44,690 in damage and endangering the lives of other detainees, some of whom suffered smoke inhalation.

It was not mentioned why he was in custody or why the case took three years to reach court.

The Emirati was sentenced to six months in jail and fined Dh44,690 on Monday.

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