25 years in prison for a fire that claimed the life of a child

The man who had deliberately started a fire in 2019 in Schiltigheim, in the suburbs of Strasbourg, causing the death of an 11-year-old child, was sentenced Thursday to 25 years of criminal imprisonment, we learned from his lawyer.

The jurors matched this sentence, in accordance with the requisitions, with a two-thirds security measure, a socio-judicial follow-up of 10 years and an obligation of care, told AFP Me Caroline Bolla. His client is also prohibited from going to Schiltigheim, the town where the tragedy occurred, on the night of September 2 to 3, 2019.

Tony Mosquera, 24, faced life imprisonment for willful destruction of a building by fire, facts which notably led to the death of one person and the injuries of 12 others. The victim, an 11-year-old child, was trapped in the flames. His lifeless body had been discovered by firefighters.

During the investigation, Tony Mosquera had confessed to being the author of this fire which had ravaged a renovated Alsatian house housing social housing on two floors, but without giving any other explanation than his state of drunkenness. The fire, which had mobilized a hundred firefighters, had completely destroyed 9 of the 43 homes.

Tony Mosquera, whose criminal record before this trial presented 13 convictions, including four “for acts of degradation by dangerous means”, was tried at the assizes in a state of recidivism. He had notably tried to burn down a nursery school when he was only 12 years old.

The psychiatric experts had concluded that there was no “psychological disorders” in him.

At the helm, he explained that he lost his job and broke up with his partner shortly before the tragedy. He also indicated that he had smoked cannabis and consumed alcohol before the events and was not “aware” of being in an apartment building when it was set on fire.

“At no time did he suspect that he was going to cause the death of a young boy and all the other prejudices,” said Caroline Bolla, who had pleaded for a 20-year prison sentence.

“We had less hope for the verdict but we knew that the recurrence was going to stick to his skin,” she told AFP after the trial. “Very clearly that is what played. His first reaction in the hot air is not to appeal, but we will review the point with him next week.”

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