Vaud: He sets fire to the car which had failed to run over his dog

An altercation between Paul*, a motorist, and Jean*, who was walking his dogs in the open countryside, had degenerated in April 2021 near Lovatens (VD). Jean had burned Paul’s car the following night. On Tuesday in Yverdon-les-Bains, he was found guilty of intentional arson by the Criminal Court and received a 24-month suspended custodial sentence.

Depending on whether he was addressing the investigators, the public prosecutor or the court, Jean changed his versions. The only fact that seems to be certain is that this Frenchman who has been working and living in Switzerland for eighteen years would have put his dog to safety in extremis in the face of a vehicle which, according to him, was arriving too quickly. Then the tone would have risen. Unable to lose his temper, Jean would then have decided to set fire to Paul’s vehicle the next day.

“It was not the first time that he tried to run over one of our dogs,” defended the Frenchman to explain his stroke. Heard as a witness, his fiancée recounted another episode where Paul would have failed to run over dogs, while she was walking them with her mother. The defendant “ruminated over all this, went on a scouting trip the evening of the altercation, took the fabric he used to light the fire at his workplace and came back to do his job”, summed up the prosecutor, Gabriel Moret, who castigated the futility of motive. “A primal form of revenge.”

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