A volunteer firefighter was sentenced to five years in prison, two of which were suspended and a fine of more than 90,000 euros by the criminal court of Béziers (Hérault) for having caused more than forty fires, we learned from the prosecution on Wednesday. .
The 50-year-old was convicted for the 43 fires he admitted to starting between 2011 and 2019.
Volunteer firefighter in Agde and "
" of the environmental police of this same city of Hérault, he had been arrested in 2019 and has already served nine months of pre-trial detention, specified to a correspondent of the AFP the parquet floor of Béziers.
The court also ordered him to pay 93,000 euros to the department's fire department for the means used to extinguish the fires for which he was found responsible, added the prosecution.
Alcoholism and depression
The investigation, which lasted several months, revealed that the man was often the first to alert the emergency services and frequently intervened first at the scene of the disasters.
To defend himself, the defendant, whose father had been the boss of the Agde fire station for many years, invoked deep depression and severe alcoholism.
In September, a former volunteer firefighter was also sentenced by the Béziers criminal court to two years in prison, including one year suspended on probation for having caused two fires in the department.
A total of 48 people suspected of being the cause of several fires were arrested this summer, the gendarmerie told AFP in September.
A dozen of them have already been sentenced, including a young man to two years in prison for a series of fires in Gironde.