Arson at school: man receives 120 hours of community service

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Photo Credit: Eindhoven News Media Library/Studio040/Alain Heeren

A 23-year-old man from Son en Breugel has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service. He is guilty of the fire that completely destroyed the Onder de Wieken primary school in Eindhoven in 2017.

The judge determined that. The suspect stated that on the evening of the fire he shot a burning match into an open garbage can. When the suspect saw that smoke was coming out of the bin, he tipped it over so that the waste fell out. According to the suspect, he tried to stamp out the smoking waste and as soon as he saw no smoke, he left.


The Oost-Brabant court finds that the fire in the school was caused by the match that the suspect shot into the garbage can. The suspect did not do everything to prevent the fire. He emptied the bin without thinking of the wooden panel close by. He could have emptied the garbage can elsewhere in the schoolyard. He then left the schoolyard without being sufficiently assured that the fire within the waste was actually completely gone. The court finds that it is therefore due to his fault that the school almost completely burned down.

Psychological complaints

According to experts, the suspect is suffering from psychological complaints, he has been admitted to a crisis department for a short time and he is now being treated by GGzE (Eindhoven Mental Health Organisation). He accepts the assistance offered and cooperates with this. The court takes this into account when determining the penalty. It also takes into account that the incident dates from more than 2.5 years ago and that he had a positive attitude to the proceedings.

Although the suspect initially denied everything to the police, he later extensively explained what happened that night. He also realizes the seriousness of the crime and the impact that the fire had on the environment at the time. The court therefore does not impose a prison sentence on the suspect, but in this case a 120-hour community service sentence is imposed on him.

Source: Studio040

Translator: Dirk

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