• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austria might move ÖVAG assets to Hypo
File Photo: APA

Austria might move ÖVAG assets to Hypo

According to a report from Bloomberg, Austrian regulators are considering the option to move non-performing assets from the ailing Volksbank AG (ÖVAG) into the portfolio of the disastrous Hypo Alpe Adria Bank. READ  

Bear kills sheep in Carinthia
A European brown bear sleeping. Photo: Joshua Lutz

Bear kills sheep in Carinthia

A bear in Finkenstein, in the Austrian province of Carinthia, is believed to have killed a sheep. READ  

Powerful vacuum cleaners banned by EU
Photo: energie-tipp.de

Powerful vacuum cleaners banned by EU

Powerful vacuum cleaners with a motor that exceeds more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Austria. The ban is part of an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Austrian Netflix service to cost €7.99
A view of a computer screen showing the Netflix website in New York. Photo: APA/EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Austrian Netflix service to cost €7.99

Subscription rates for soon to be available video-on-demand provider Netflix will cost €7.99 a month in Austria and Germany, according to a leaked report on tech blog engadget.de. READ  

Insufficient postage betrays drug gang
Photo: APA (BMI)

Insufficient postage betrays drug gang

A gang dealing in counterfeit prescription drugs with in excess of €3 million (US$3.94 million) annual turnover was busted by Austrian investigators after a package arrived in Austria with insufficient postage. READ  

Wanted jihadist calls Vienna mosque 'pro Isis'
The mosque in Floridsdorf. Photo: APA/Techt

Wanted jihadist calls Vienna mosque 'pro Isis'

An Austrian jihadist wanted by Interpol has said that he was recruited to the Isis terrorist organisation in the Floridsdorf mosque in Vienna. However, the Islamic Centre denies any connection to Isis. READ  

14,000 Slovenians work in Austria
Lake Bled in Slovenia. Photo: Canadianhockey91/Wikimedia

14,000 Slovenians work in Austria

According to a report from the Slovenia Times, more than 14,000 Slovenians regularly work in Austria, with around half commuting daily across the border. READ  

Austria bans cage beds in psychiatric hospitals
A cage bed in an Austrian hospital. Photo: APA (HERBERT PFARRHOFER)

Austria bans cage beds in psychiatric hospitals

Austria’s Health Ministry has announced a ban on the use of cage beds in psychiatric hospitals and social care institutions, from July 1st, 2015. READ  

15-year-old girl dies from 'drug cocktail'
Photo: APA (dpa)

15-year-old girl dies from 'drug cocktail'

A 15-year-old schoolgirl died early on Saturday morning after partying with two older men, who plied her with a cocktail of powerful drugs. READ  

Family die in tragic well shaft accident
The entrance to the well shaft. Photo: APA/ORF/GERNOT ROHRHOFER

Family die in tragic well shaft accident

Three people have died after becoming trapped in a well shaft in Schönbach, Lower Austria - where they are believed to have been poisoned by carbon monoxide gas. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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!'
Sponsored Article
Gymboree - where playing and learning go hand in hand
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
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

272
jobs available