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Man charged with torching own house

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The man who set his family’s house on fire. National Police

Kandal Provincial Court yesterday charged a 22-year-old man over the torching of his parents’ house after his mother refused to give him money to buy a drink.

District deputy police chief Major Seng Chantha identified the accused as Phal Tith, 22, a farmer who lived with his parents in Sa’ang district’s Troeuy Sla commune.

Maj Chantha said the accused was arrested on Sunday after allegedly setting the house aflame at about 4pm.

Maj Chantha said the court yesterday charged the accused with intentionally causing damage and noted that he faces six months to two years jail if convicted.

Maj Chantha said that on the day of fire, the accused had attended a friend’s birthday party in the village, where he drank beer and got drunk.

He then returned home and begged his mother Kok Sreou, 65, for 2,000 riel, or about $0.50, to buy a drink from a shop. His mother refused, saying that she did not have the money.

The accused did not believe her and an argument ensued, said Maj Chantha.

“He was drunk and became angry with his mother for not giving him the money for a drink,” Maj Chantha said. “He later splashed gasoline on the house and set it ablaze. The fire completely destroyed the house and everything inside.” At the time of the fire the parents were away and nobody was injured, he noted.

Maj Chantha said the accused was beaten by angry villagers who witnessed the fire, leaving him with serious injuries on the face.

The accused then fled, but was later arrested by local police, he added.

Maj Chantha said that according to a police report, the blaze caused damages of at lest $3,000.

The accused has been jailed pending trial.

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