“I think many people in Ystad are relieved today, many have been fearing for their lives,” Ewa-Gun Westford of the local police told news agency TT.
Ulf Borgström, the 47-year-old dubbed the ‘dusk and dawn’ pyromaniac (“gryningspyromanen”) by the Swedish press, has been eluding police for a number of years.
He has been referred to as one of the most dangerous men in Sweden.
It was in December last year that Borgstöm was observed leaving a block of flats in Ystad minutes before a fire flared up in the attic.
Borgstöm admits having been on the premises but claims to have had a drink and a smoke and subsequently fallen asleep on a sofa.
“I dreamt about hedgehogs. Then I woke up and heard the crackle of fire and I said to myself ‘how lucky that I woke up, how lucky I am’, he said in court according to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).
However, due to forensic evidence such as soot and textile fibres on Borgström’s clothes, the court has found him guilty of aggravated arson.
“The district court finds that through the evidence presented by the prosecution it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that it is the 47-year old man that started the fire”, the court said in a statement.
Borgström has figured in a large number of arson investigations, but sufficient evidence to press charges had always been lacking up until now.
He was arrested on a number of occasions, held on remand and then released. He has also received 21,000 kronor ($3,300) in damages from the Swedish state for a period in remand.
Despite putting him under almost constant surveillance, police had not been able to pin anything on Borgström until the December fire.
Yet they were convinced he was the ‘dusk and dawn’ pyromaniac that had eluded them since 1990s.
Borgström has undergone two psychiatric evaluations and has been declared to be of sane mind. Despite being referred to as a ‘pyromaniac’ he is instead motivated by his hate for society and the police in particular.
Borgström was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay damages to a value of 70,000 kronor to seven plaintiffs.
According to his lawyer, Matts Johnsson, he will appeal the sentence.
“He says he is innocent, so it would be odd if he didn’t want to appeal,” he said earlier to local paper Ystads Allehanda.
Lumnije Mustija, who works in a patisserie in the building that was set on fire, is happy with the verdict.
“We were lucky we weren’t affected by the fire. Now it will be safer in Ystad,” she said to TT.