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Porvoo Church Arsonist Seeks Fine Reduction

A man convicted of intentionally setting the Porvoo Cathedral ablaze in 2006 is seeking to have the 4.2 million euro damages fine reduced.

Kuva: Pentti Palmu / YLE

The man, who had just turned 18 at the time of the arson, received a six and a half year sentence and the hefty damages and court cost claim from insurance company If.

The man’s lawyer wrote in Wednesday’s issue of Uusimaa that the 4.2 million euro fine is unreasonable, explaining that the man was too young to understand the far-reaching consequences of his actions.

The cathedral was originally built in the 13th century, and was nearly totally destroyed in the blaze. Court procedings revealed that the man was drinking with two acquaintances one night in late May 2006, and set fire to the church. He later turned himself to the police, the other two were also charged.

The lawyer wrote that his client should not be allowed to lose hope that he has a possibility to live his life in the future and that the fine should be reduced to 420,000 euros.

Under Finnish law first time offenders generally serve only half of their prison sentences. The man has since been released, after serving three years and two months.