x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sisters 'set fire to social centre over bad care'

Emirati sisters who set fire to an Abu Dhabi social support centre said they were taking revenge for the "bad way" staff had treated them, the criminal court heard today.

ABU DHABI // Two teenage sisters set fire to a social support centre in revenge for the "bad way" staff had treated them, a court heard today.

The Emirati girls, aged 18 and 19, had been living at the centre in Abu Dhabi because their parents disowned them.

"You are receiving care and treatment at the centre and then you set the place on fire?" Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer asked at Abu Dhabi Criminal Court.

One of the sisters admitted starting the fire, but the other denied having confessed to public prosecutors.

Chief Justice Baseer read her confession from the court's case files. "You said: 'We went to the kitchen and placed blankets on the stove, then we dropped them on the floor.
"They [had] caught fire and we tried to stop the fire but we could not, so we escaped to the bathroom on the second floor', the judge said.

"Yes, correct," the girl replied.

The judge asked the sisters not to become upset with him, because he had to reprimand them.

He asked the girls if they would ever do such a thing again, and they promised they would not.

The verdict will be announced on May 22.

hdajani@thenational.ae