• Austria edition
 
Church vandal released from custody
A damaged statue in one of the churches. Photo: APA

Church vandal released from custody

Published: 05 Jun 2014 15:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Jun 2014 15:45 GMT+02:00

Court psychiatrist Gabriela Woergoetter said the man was suffering from a mental disorder, similar to paranoid schizophrenia, when he vandalised the churches.

At the end of March the 37-year-old man, who originally comes from Ghana, went into St Stephen's cathedral (Stefansdom) and three other Catholic churches and knocked over statues of saints, in many cases destroying them. He also damaged other sacred objects including a baptismal font and a crucifix. The cost of the damage came to around €150,000, according to the archdiocese.

He was arrested the following week and confessed to the vandalism. He told police that “God had instructed him” to destroy the images of the saints.

"He's so sick, according to the psychiatrist’s report, that he did not know what he was doing," the man’s legal representative, Roland Friis, said. The prosecution has already dropped the claim for the cost of the damage, because of a lack of accountability, Friis added.

The man will however have to appear in court later in June for other “minor offences”, which include resisting arrest and damaging a police patrol car. He has already spent two months in prison.



 

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Storms cause widespread damage
Photo: APA/Gindl

Storms cause widespread damage

Storms hit Austria overnight, with gusts of over 100 km/h in some places, and heavy rain. Fire departments were called out to remove fallen trees but so far no injuries have been reported. READ  

Storm Warning
Storm warnings over Austria
Photo: APA (Archiv/epa)

Storm warnings over Austria

Weather forecasters have issued major storm warnings in Austria for the early hours of Wednesday morning, as the former hurricane Gonzalo vents its remaining fury on the central European region. READ  

Community service for anti-Semitic posts
Photo: DPA/ARMIN WEIGEL

Community service for anti-Semitic posts

A 25-year-old man from Lower Austria has been ordered to do community service after posting hate speech on Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz’s Facebook page. READ  

Psychologist accused of sexual assault
Graz-Karlau prison. Photo: APA

Psychologist accused of sexual assault

A psychologist employed by the Ministry of Justice in Graz-Karlau prison is being investigated for sexual harassment. READ  

Saalfelden murder 'was Nazi ritual killing'
The murder happened in one of these apartments. Photo: APA/NEUMAYR

Saalfelden murder 'was Nazi ritual killing'

The murder of a young woman in Saalfelden, Pinzgau, on October 9th was not a case of domestic violence but a ritual killing - according to a report from broadcaster ORF Salzburg. READ  

Meth lab busted near Czech border
Photo: Austrian police

Meth lab busted near Czech border

A pair of early-retirees were caught running a meth production lab in Moorheilbad Harbach, close to the Czech border, according to police. READ  

Brazil v. Austria tickets sell out fast
Photo: APA (Archiv/epa)

Brazil v. Austria tickets sell out fast

An upcoming football fixture between former world champion Brazil and minnows Austria sold out all 48,500 tickets within 28 hours of going on sale. READ  

Hungary and Austria reach accord on refugees
Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner. Photo: APA (Archiv/Schlager)

Hungary and Austria reach accord on refugees

With increasing numbers of so-called illegal migrants arriving in Austria as refugees from war-torn places such as Syria, Iraq and North Africa, ministers in European countries are working to improve cooperation on dealing with the challenge. READ  

Carlos Slim increases stake in Telekom Austria
Carlos Slim. Photo: APA (Archiv/epa)

Carlos Slim increases stake in Telekom Austria

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has increased his stake in Telekom Austria, from 51 percent to 59.7 percent, he informed the Mexican stock exchange on Monday. READ  

Five dogs poisoned in Salzburg
Photo: APA

Five dogs poisoned in Salzburg

The city of Salzburg has responded to reports that dogs are being killed with poisoned bait by closing and screening the city’s dog zones and putting surveillance cameras in a park that is popular with dog walkers. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
International
Finding your favourite home foods in Austria
Gallery
Photo of the Week: Austrian Jagdkommando and his dog
Culture
Vienna Philharmonic receives major music prize
Gallery
What kind of Austria expat are you?
Health
Doctors launch campaign to challenge smoker's paradise
Culture
Happy Birthday, Udo Jürgens
Culture
Test your German skills with the odd word out quiz
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
National
Graz designer creates Dirndl and Lederhosen with a twist
Health
Sigmund Freud: 75 years after his death
Society
Coming home after 75 years with the Jewish Welcome Service
Health
Austrians can't stop smoking
Culture
Why Austria wants a divorce from Germany
Features
'A love of learning was vital'
National
The Vienna solar power plant that is also a nature reserve
National
Vienna exhibition on 50 years of Turkish guest workers
Politics
The unpopular finance minister defeated by tax reform
Features
'Suddenly you're just trying to get a sentence out'
Health
Key to happiness is 'making the right choices'
National
The Austrian office with a climbing wall and swimming pool
National
Six top tips to get a job in Austria
National
Danielle Spera on the mission of the Jewish Museum Vienna
National
Why Vienna is a 'hub for European jihadists'
Gallery
Horses rescued from burning barn
National
Why beggars are a problem for Vienna's street paper Augustin
Culture
'No one speak English to him!'
National
The grassroots group working to unite Muslims and Jews
Society
Pink Lake festival attracts LGBT visitors
Gallery
Weirdest spa treatments: Fancy a session of full-body cryotherapy?
Society
The question of begging in Austria
National
Naked cyclist faces charges and told to wear clothes
International
Cop surrounded; busts a few moves
Society
Church porn star faces charges
Tech
Austrian student launches class-action lawsuit against Facebook
Politics
Parliamentary speaker Prammer loses fight with cancer
National
Why Vienna is the capital of choice for spies
Society
Happy birthday, Arnie
Gallery
Pizzeria anarchists block traffic in street march
International
Centenary of Austria's declaration of war on Serbia
National
Eight cheap things to do in Vienna this summer
Features
'I came for a boy and stayed for the lifestyle'
Society
The Local's carnivore goes vegan
Gallery
The pop-up forest restaurant in Austria's most beautiful locations
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

279
jobs available