A German court on Thursday sentenced a firefighter to eight-and-a-half years in prison for five cases of arson he carried out in part to make sure he had enough work to do.
The 36-year-old defendant - a volunteer firefighter who earned an hourly wage of 10 euros ($12 ) per hour - was found guilty of attempted murder after setting fire to residential buildings in his home town of Rutesheim in southern Germany.
Some of the buildings affected by the fires earlier this year housed foreigners, causing prosecutors to suspect the man had been motivated by right-wing extremist sentiment.
Indeed, the court found that the man had had ties to the neo-Nazi scene in his youth, but such a link to the crimes could not be established.
Among the witnesses to testify against the firefighter was his wife, who told the court that her husband had told her in advance of his plans and that he had planned the fires in such a way as to protect residents inside the building.
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