Former Campsfield detainee sentenced to 32 months prison after admitting arson

PRESS RELEASE 1 April 2014

Former Campsfield detainee sentenced to 32 months prison after admitting arson

Farid Pardiaz, 25, from Afghanistan was sentenced today by Judge Mowat
in Oxford Crown Court to 32 months in prison after pleading guilty to
committing simple arson at Campsfield detention centre on 18 October
2013.

Judge Mowat stated that Mr Pardiaz appeared to have had mixed motives
for setting light to bedding in his room, from which fire spread into
the roof space of Blue Block at the centre. He had wished both to kill
himself and also to show the authorities how strongly he felt that he
should not be returned to Afghanistan, where he feared for his life.

Judge Mowat accepted that Mr Pardiaz had not meant to cause the damage
and losses estimated by outgoing centre manager Paul Morrison of
Mitie, which runs the centre, as mounting to over £900,000, but she
nevertheless had to take the high cost into account in deciding the
sentence.

No mention was made by judge in sentencing or by defence of the fact
that Mr Pardiaz had been refused a request to see a doctor in the days
running up to the fire, when, as a psychiatric report stated, Mr
Pardiaz was experiencing a depressive episode. Nor was it mentioned
that very little damage at all would have been caused if the Home
Office had carried out the recommendations of the Oxon Fire Service
and fitted sprinklers in the centre – a fact for which the Home Office
alone bears the responsibility.

After he has served his time, which with remission and time already
served may be some 12-15 months, the government will seek to deport Mr
Pardiaz, who is currently held in Bullingdon Prison.

Contacts: Bill , Liz

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