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Posted by portugalpress on March 01, 2018

He has been in preventive custody since his arrest in 2016 but yesterday in Portimão judges finally issued the punishment for the arsonist whose actions with a lighter caused fires to rage for over a week in Monchique and beyond, devastating over 3,745 hectares of land.

Sentencing him to nine years in jail (which will almost certainly take into account time already spent behind bars), Carlos Fernandes, 50, has been ordered to pay the State an indemnity of “around €2.5 million”.

According to reports, Fernandes’ will be appealing.

His actions on that fateful day in September of 2016 ended with police catching him red-handed as he set light to the last fire in a route that began in Porto de Lagos and ended in Fóia (click here).

At the time, reports talked about Fernandes having started three fires. Today tabloid Correio da Manhã mentions six.

The truth is that initially the fires were ‘brought under control’ within a little more than 24 hours. They then ‘reignited’ hours after the last fire engine had left the scene, eventually raging for more than a week (click here).

Portimão’s panel of judges highlighted the “elevated necessity” to try and prevent fires and “restore confidence to society” as they passed Fernandes’ sentence, considering that he had “acted with an understanding” of what it was he was doing, reports Correio da Manhã.

Fernandes’ defence claimed the former barman acted under the influence of an accidental overdose of medication (click here).