x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Prison fire-starter jailed for an extra three months

A inmate in solitary confinement who set fire to his pillow was today sentenced to an extra three months in jail.

DUBAI // An inmate in solitary confinement who set fire to his pillow was today sentenced to an extra three months in jail.

AT, a 47-year-old Emirati, was also ordered by the Criminal Court to pay the police Dh100 to cover the cost of the damages he caused - including the Dh15 pillow.

He set fire to the pillow on April 23 this year hoping it would force guards to let him out of his solitary confinement cell.

In a previous hearing he denied starting the fire.

"Where is the pillow they claim I set fire to? I was beaten," he told the judge. However, when the judge asked who had beaten him, he replied "Ask the government," before demanding more time to prepare his defence and threatening to leave the courtroom.

When the judge announced a verdict would be issued on July 31, he said: "God curse your father - and the prosecution's."

The inmate was found guilty of setting fire to an inhabited place and posing a risk to the lives of others. In a separate case he was found guilty of similar charges relating to a different incident in which he set fire to an Dh85 blanket in his cell, for which he also received a three-month jail term.

His original offence and sentence were not disclosed.

salamir@thenational.ae