• 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
Drugs bust in OÖ
Major drugs bust in Rohrbach
Part of the grow operation found in Hörsching. Photo: OÖ Police

Major drugs bust in Rohrbach

Police from Upper Austria announced on Friday the successful completion of an operation to disrupt the import and trafficking in illegal drugs from the Czech Republic, including crystal meth. READ  

Bomb Threat
Bomb alert closed Schwarzenbergplatz
Bomb disposal specialists inspect the suspicious package. Photo: APA (Neubauer)

Bomb alert closed Schwarzenbergplatz

A bomb alert was triggered on Friday morning at Vienna's Schwarzenbergplaz because of a suspicious package. READ  

Catch a London cab to a ski holiday in Austria
Photo: Visit Austria

Catch a London cab to a ski holiday in Austria

Austrian tourism bosses have been busy promoting skiing holidays by offering a quiz in the back of a London taxi. READ  

Grand Rapids hollers back to Kapfenberg
From the Youtube video showing dancing priests in the streets of Kapfenberg. Photo: Youtube

Grand Rapids hollers back to Kapfenberg

A US town which inspired an Austrian town to emulate its success with a music video which is going viral has acknowledged the tribute. READ  

Pensioner acted as decoy to catch conman
Police released an image of the 19-year-old suspect. Photo: Police

Pensioner acted as decoy to catch conman

A 19-year-old Polish man has been arrested for attempting to carry out a 'nephew scam' in Linz, after the 74-year-old he was trying to con acted as a decoy for the police. READ  

Vienna bans dangerous reptiles as pets
No longer deemed a suitable pet. Photo: Dbenbenn

Vienna bans dangerous reptiles as pets

From January 2015 people in Vienna will no longer be allowed to keep giant snakes, spiders, scorpions and the like as pets. READ  

Traffickers force trio into prostitution in Styria
File photo: APA/Fohringer

Traffickers force trio into prostitution in Styria

A group of Romanian human traffickers have been arrested for forcing three young woman into prostitution against their will. READ  

Vienna's €19 billion ‘Hypotopia’ city
Photo: APA/ARMIN WALCHER

Vienna's €19 billion ‘Hypotopia’ city

A group of students has constructed a model city for 102,574 inhabitants in one of Vienna’s main squares – as a form of protest against the taxpayer-funded bailout of the Hypo Alpe Adria bank for the sum of €19 billion. READ  

Migration
Serbians lead in new residence permits
Residence card for Austria. Photo: APA (Archiv/BMI)

Serbians lead in new residence permits

According to a Eurostats report issued on Wednesday, Austria has granted the most residence permits to citizens from Serbia, followed by Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina. READ  

Schönbrunn Zoo celebrates 'ugly' babies
Photo: Schönbrunn/Daniel Zupanc

Schönbrunn Zoo celebrates 'ugly' babies

Could these be the ugliest babies to be born at Vienna’s Schönbrunn Zoo? The four baby naked mole-rats, also known as sand puppies, are "certainly not the most beautiful, but are one of the most exciting animals," according to zoo director Dagmar Schratter. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Protest in concrete: Vienna's €19 billion 'Hypotopia' city
Tech
Editorial: Google Plus
Travel & Tourism
Vienna in Lonely Planet's top ten city destinations for 2015
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
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

269
jobs available