Dombås: 29-year-old church arsonist sentenced to compulsory mental health care

Dombås: 29-year-old church arsonist sentenced to compulsory mental health care

The 29-year-old man who set fire to Dombås church last year and later tried to set fire to Sel church has been sentenced to compulsory mental health care.

In March, the man was sentenced to four years and two months in prison after a trial in Nord-Gudbrandsdal District Court. The man appealed the sentence from the district court, and the appeal was upheld, the newspaper Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen reports.

The man admitted that he lit a fire at Dombås church on the night of February 20 last year. A month later, on March 19, he tried to set fire to Sel Church, which he has also admitted to.

The repair work on Dombås church is estimated to cost NOK 35 million, but the 29-year-old has not been sentenced to pay compensation.

Mental health issues

The experts stated in the district court that they had concerns about the defendant’s mental condition but concluded that he was not mentally ill.

The Eidsivating Court of Appeal asked the experts to make an updated assessment of the defendant’s mental health, which resulted in a forensic psychiatric statement dated July 15, 2021, which concluded that the defendant’s overall medical history is consistent with suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

The prosecutor filed a claim in the Court of Appeal that the accused be sentenced to compulsory mental health care. The defender’s lawyer agreed to the claim. The verdict was unanimous.

The 29-year-old is originally from Somalia but has been granted asylum in Norway since he came to the country in 2015. The convict has explained that he lit the churches in anger that no one had been punished for burning the Koran in Kristiansand in November 2019.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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