Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a jobless youth who torched his girlfriend’s house in Russey Keo district because he thought her mother was keeping her from seeing him.
Major Bun Savuth, deputy district police chief, identified the accused as Noeun Kungkear, 18, living in the district’s Chraing Chamres II commune, and the girlfriend as Un Srey Oun, 22, a garment factory worker.
He noted that the accused was arrested on Saturday after he torched the house in the commune.
Maj Savuth said that at about 10.30pm on Saturday, Mr Kungkear took a motodop to Ms Srey Oun’s house to torch it because he was angry that he was not able to contact her by phone for several days after an argument.
He noted that the girlfriend’s mother Un Krouch, 50, a grocery vendor, often told him she was not at home whenever he tried to see her.
Maj Savuth said this time the mother told him that Ms Srey Oun had gone out to visit a friend and was not at home.
He noted that Mr Kungkear became angry and poured a bottle of gasoline, which he had brought with him, on the house and torched it.
“He accused the mother of keeping his girlfriend from seeing him so he torched the house,” Maj Savuth said. “Fortunately, the girlfriend was really not in and Ms Krouch managed to flee before the house burned down.”
He noted that after torching the house, the accused fled but was later caught by neighbours who found him hiding in his house and handed him to police.
Maj Savuth said that according to the mother’s police report, the blaze completely destroyed her property, causing about $10,000 in damages.
A court clerk said the accused was charged with intentionally causing damage and faces up to two years in jail if convicted. He noted that Mr Kungkear was sent to prison pending trial.