Fire starting tenant an “affront to human decency”Make Text Bigger
Joshua Rosenberg, a tenant in Clackmannanshire, has been found guilty and jailed for 12 years in Glasgow’s High Court for attempted extortion, attempted fraud, wilful fire raising and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
After moving into the property Rosenberg immediately started sending threatening emails to the two sisters who owned the property and their solicitor demanding compensation starting with £3,500 and escalating to £95,000 by February 2015
Alison Davidson, one of the sisters, said in court: “I was absolutely horrified. It seemed to have gone from a dispute about conditions in the house to something that was so extreme. They were saying they were going to bankrupt us. The whole thing seemed unreal.
“I was extremely frightened. I had visions of the police coming to my door and taking me away in handcuffs. It was horrible, frightening, scary. I felt it was increasingly personal and vindictive.”
Rosenberg has previous convictions in Germany for fraud and forgery and tried to obtain £53,780 from insurers by claiming the property had been broken into and set on fire.
Judge Lord Beckett told Rosenberg in sentencing: “Your actions were an affront to human decency and an affront to democracy.”
“When your attempt to extort money from them failed you then set up an elaborate insurance scam and destroyed the house which was of great sentimental value to the sisters and their family.” Your threats were manipulative, deeply cynical and downright cruel, and have had profound effects.”
“You sought to besmirch the reputation of the police officer who interviewed you, making extremely serious but baseless criminal allegations against him.
“When none of this worked you sent serious and alarming threats to a member of the Scottish Parliament.
“You sought to mislead the deputy chief constable by making serious, but baseless allegations about corruption within the police.
“You wrote to the First Minister of Scotland pretending that you were someone else, falsely confessing to numerous other crimes, and you made threats to blow up the Scottish Parliament.
“I recognise that there is no basis to conclude that you actually intended to follow through these threats, but the recipients of them, and the authorities, were not to know that.”
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