Ravensburg Church Arsonist Sentenced

Country: Germany

Date of incident: September 25, 2018

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Private

A 40-year-old unemployed man was sentenced to 7 years in prison on September 25, 2018 for the arson of two churches, St. Jodok in Ravensburg and St. Martin in Schlier. The incidents occurred in March 2018, which we reported at the time. The fire at St. Jodok church in Ravensburg caused at least two million euros in damage.

On the first day of trial, the defendant told the court that he went to St. Martin's Church in Schlier in March, lit candles and prayed. Then he lit a partition screen, and waited for the flames to go out. Afterwards he took the bus to the church of St. Jodok in Ravensburg. There he set a photo of his ex-girlfriend on fire, threw it on the sofa and left the church. He claimed that he did not know what he was doing at the time, and that he had been in a kind of mental "state of emergency."

The court heard that the 40-year-old has been an alcoholic since his youth. On the day of the incidents he said he had already drunk a bottle of liquor and was in a bad mental state after the break-up with his girlfriend. During his testimony, he gave his confession while crying. He said phrases like "That was not me ... I'm a believer and a Catholic."

The defense pleaded for a prison sentence of four years and six months, but after the court heard testimony about a text message he wrote to a friend in which he expressed the wish to go back to prison, where he had already spent several years of his life, the court sentenced him to 7 years and 2 months imprisonment. Read our report about the March arsons here

Sources: SchwäbischeSWRRTLSWP and Focus