Fire in a building: a resident of Eure sentenced to two years in prison

Fire in a building: a resident of Eure sentenced to two years in prison
Fire in a building: a resident of Eure sentenced to two years in prison

By

Maxime Laffiac

Published on

May 22, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

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Friday May 17, Enock M., young man from Vernon (Eure) aged 21, was on trial in immediate appearance in Évreux. On the night of Tuesday May 14 to Wednesday May 15, shortly after midnight, he caused a fire which had necessitated theevacuation of a building. After the events, he was quickly arrested and placed under arrest warrant.

The defendant, who arrived from the Congo at the age of 13, has been required to leave French territory for three years. He already has multiple convictions recorded in his criminal record: theft, damage, violence or even drunkenness.

“I’ll burn you in the apartment!” »

It’s on 21, Rue de la Poterie that the police and firefighters had to intervene. Before the fire, the young man was staying with a friend who should not have accommodated him, according to the law. Added to this situation is a strained relationship with other young people in the neighborhood.

At the time of the events, Enock M. was drunk. He was refusedaccess to housing from her friend, which provoked her anger. And when his belongings were thrown from the balcony, his blood boiled and he took action by managing to enter the building.

Although only the facade of the building suffered from the fire, the entire first floor had to be evacuated. A woman and two children, in danger of asphyxiation, had to be extracted from the smoke. These two children would have had, according to the investigation, a dispute with the young man. The latter had swallowed a bottle of vodka and had 2.24 grams per liter of blood. It was 11 p.m. when he started yelling: “Let me go home or I’ll burn you in the apartment!” »

An entire building evacuated

Before the court, chaired by Bertrand Brusset, the defendant spoke from the Évreux remand center, by videoconference, with sound problems. In fact, no one could transport the prisoner to court. Enock refused to be recognized as the author of the fire and his explanations were no more audible than the previous reading of the file. In a few words, the president revealed that it all started with a story of narcotics : “And you made a scandal to enter the apartment…”, he remarks. “Before this story, I was at my mom’s! », Indicates the young defendant.

But witnesses to the fire heard him say, after kicking a car: “I’m a spectator: they just have to die inside ! »

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The deputy prosecutor specified that it was necessary to evacuate an entire building with young children, elderly people… “This caused a significant shock. »

A difficult defense

The deputy prosecutor considered that Enock’s arguments were not credible and that no explanation could be possible with such a blood alcohol level.

Everything has been proven that the defendant was a “spectator” of the fire after frequent problems with his neighbors. He put the trash fire. The indictment requested four years as well as the revocation of a suspended sentence of 2022 (four months). The arsonist’s lawyer argued that the young man often bothered the neighbors, of course, but that he could not, in such a drunken state, have committed this fire.

Twenty months in prison

The sentence imposed will be twenty months of closed prison, and the revocation of four months in prison. The immediate detention will be followed by a ban (for five years) from possessing a weapon and even from setting foot in the city of Vernon.

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