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Tenant sentenced to 12 years in prison for burning down rental property

A tenant who was found guilty of deliberately burning down a property he was renting four years ago was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Friday.

Joshua Rosenberg, from Kinfauns, Perthshire, arranged for the house he was renting in Dollar, Clackmannanshire, to be set on fire on 20th February 2015 before claiming property insurance money.

Days before he torched the house, Rosenberg removed prized childhood photographs and possessions from the property and put them in storage.

The 43 year-old had previous inundated his landlords, sisters Jill Dunn and Alison Davidson, along with their lawyer, with emails initially demanding £3,500 in compensation, which later escalated to £95,000 just weeks after moving into their property, because he claimed that there was mould and damp in the house.

When an expert employed by the landlords attempted to inspect the premises, Rosenberg denied access to the property and threatened to report them to the police, the council and health and safety inspectors.

The tenant, who has previous convictions in Germany for fraud and forgery, pleaded his innocence, but Judge Lord Beckett told Rosenberg that his conduct was “outrageous”.

He added: “Your actions were an affront to human decency and an affront to democracy.”

Roseenberg was found guilty of attempting to extort up to £95,000 from the landlords of the property he was renting in Strachan Crescent, Dollar, and then setting fire to the property on February 20, 2015.

He was also found guilty of obtaining £53,780 by insurance fraud and sending letters to the police, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Crown Office in a bid to discredit a 76-year old man that he claimed started the fire.

Lord Beckett continued: “When your attempt to extort money from them [the landlords] 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.”

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