A 24-year-old-farmer burned two houses – one his mother’s – to the ground in anger after a row over his drinking habit.
Phy Voung, of Village 2 in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district, was arrested on Wednesday.
Major Tum Yani, chief of district police, said that at about 6pm, Mr Voung, who liked rice wine, arrived home drunk after drinking with his friends in the village.
He went into the house to sleep.
His mother, Tath Phoeun, 56, a widow who worked as a farmer, went to wake him and told him to dine at the table under their stilt house. But Mr Voung refused.
Major Yani said Ms Phoeun criticised and cursed him.
“He was angry at his mother for blaming him and cursing him almost every day. He then burned all the clothes in the house,” Major Yani said. “The fire destroyed the house, as well as other property.”
His mother and neighbours tried to extinguish it, but failed. The fire spread to a neighbour’s house, destroying it and everything in it.
Mr Voung fled, but was arrested later by military police in the village.
Captain Muong Sothea, a district military police officer, confirmed that the suspect had been detained temporarily at the district military police station.
Cap Sothea said during interrogation, the suspect admitted the offence, saying that he was drunk and angry at his mother for admonishing and cursing him almost every day when he drank.
“He was preliminarily accused by military police of intentionally causing damage with aggravating circumstance. He faces two to five years in prison if convicted,” he said.
Mr Voung will be sent to Kandal Provincial Court for questioning today.