22 Mar, 2011 @ 16:47
1 min read

Expat firestarter fined millions in Spain

IT took 227 firefighters eight days to extinguish the blaze, using 12 planes and 20 helicopters.

And now a British man has been fined a record 10 million euros for starting a fire that razed 2000 hectares of the Sierra Nevada national park.

Michael Hanks, 66, had lit the fire in a bid to be spotted by rescuers.

The former head of Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association – who owns a holiday home in the village of Acequias – had got lost in the park, while out walking with his French girlfriend.

This week, a Granada court took a dim view of his error in September 2005 and slapped the largest ever fine and an 18 month prison sentence on him.

His only mitigating factor was that he had apparently put a ring of stones around the fire before starting it.

At the time, a fireman told the Olive Press: “They were very lucky not to have died.”

Wendy Williams

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  1. Whenever one reads stories such as this, it is invariably the foreigner who started the fire or who gets the blame, with the emphasis on “foreigner”

    Strange that…

  2. What a nutter! You could almost feel sorry for him because he clearly didn’t set out to do any harm – not exactly a pyromanic. BUT how stupid could anyone be?
    As for a 10m euro fine, that seems a little bit silly. That’s like saying you should get a 1.5m euro fine for doing 60 in a 40 zone.

  3. Where on earth is this man going to get 10 million Euros from? What he did was amazingly foolish but I’d be surprised if he’s got the money- if he has, well, it’s gone now isn’t it?

  4. He sure made a STUPID mistake & will get “free room and board” for awhile. But 10 Million euros?… he’d have to
    run for Office and be elected a Mayor!

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