‘I will not burn’: Intellectually disabled person and care home resident on trial for arson

Written with extracts from The Yomiuri Shimbun

March 13th 2018

On March 12th 2017, in Matsuno-cho, Ehime Prefecture, a care home for the disabled was set on fire and three of the residents died. The trial was held on March 13th 2018 in at the Matsuyama District Court.

The defendant herself a resident of the care facility said, “I did not intend to star a fire to burn the building”.

According to the indictment, the defendant lit toilet paper with a lighter at the group home’s office on March 12 at 12:00 am last year, to burn the facility and kill three people.

The Matsuyama District Prosecution sought an expert opinion detention for three months from March last year. It was decided that the defendant could be held to be criminally responsible.

The prosecution explained at the opening statement that defendant smoked on a daily basis and the defendant recognized that fire spreads. On the other hand, the defense defense argued that “the defendant has an intellectual impairment, impulsively lights a fire…”

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