A 60 year old man has been sentenced to 7 years prison for setting the fire that burned through the apartment in which he had been living, putting several lives at risk.
The man is said to have acted in spite, but his sentence was reduced from the eleven years requested by the prosecution due to his subsequently alerting emergency services when the fire started to get out of control.
The fire occurred on 25th July 2016, and the case was heard in Palma court yesterday, Friday 15th March 2019.
In passing sentence the judge said “Assessing the motive of retaliation, the spread of fire, the number of people affected, material damage and other concurrent circumstances, it is considered appropriate to impose the penalty of seven years of prison”
Speaking of his actions in alerting the fire service, the judge continued “It is proven that the defendant with his positive behavior helped to reduce the danger he had created with his own action. Despite this, his contribution can not be considered of great importance because it was not immediate to the facts and, despite being able to do so, he did not alert the neighbours.”
The defence argument of his confession was not accepted by the court, as it was not given immediately on arrest. The man, initials JMS, initially said he had spilled a flammable liquid on his bed and may have accidentally ignited it with a cigarette.
Report from July 2016: Tenant Charged With Arson In San Antonio Apartment Fire
A fire on the third floor of an apartment building in San Antonio on Monday needed the rescue of two women trapped by the blaze and the evacuation of school children from their summer school in the adjacent building.
The fire was reported as having been started by a man who lived in the third floor apartment following a heated row with the woman with whom he shared the property.
Having set the fire he is said to have called the emergency services and turned himself into the Guardia Civil.
The Diario de Ibiza reported that Carmen Fuentes Montesinos aged 76, had lived in the apartment for 25 years and had let the room in March saying “I took him in to help me cover expenses and give me some company, but since mid-June life has become unbearable because he began to urinate in bed and constantly came home drunk and violent using such foul language I cannot repeat it”.
She went on to say that she had discovered he was taking drugs having found some left in his clothes when using the washing machine. Describing it as a final straw, she told him he must leave but said he refused and replied with a threat saying “if he could not have it as his home, neither could she”. Fuentes Montesinos said that the daughter of a neighbour intervened on this occasion, as she had several times before, because he was becoming so aggressive they feared for the pensioner’s safety.
The tenant was bailed to appear at the headquarters of the Guardia civil and it is understood he refused to testify.
The condition of the building was such that at 5pm Tuesday, three apartments were still deemed to be uninhabitable however though the remaining tenants were allowed to return, they declined to do so due to the conditions within the building.
On Wednesday morning, the 58 year old tenant accused of arson appeared before court number 2 in Ibiza.
The man arrived at court with his face covered and when the proceedings commenced the Guardia Civil requested submission of the 112 emergency services recording on which they say the detainee admits responsibility for setting the fire he was detained without bail.