The family of a judge in Hamar is under special protection after their home was destroyed in a fire that police believe was set by an arsonist, local newspaper Hamar Dagblad – Østlendingen reported.
The judge was not at home, but a daughter and her girlfriend were trapped in the burning house and had to be rescued by neighbors who broke windows to bring the girls to safety.
About a month earlier, the Hamar judge had received telephone messages threatening to “harm and hang you and your family in the future.” The texted threats were tracked to a local man in his 30s who has been convicted six times for threatening people in various places around Norway.
The man was in jail serving time for an earlier conviction when the fire was set during the night between Sunday and Monday of this week. His messages, however, had contained claims that he knows “several criminals who know who you are.”
The house and a garage were gutted in minutes. Investigators have combed the scene of the fire since Monday. On Thursday the police sources said they were taking the matter “very seriously” and confirmed that they suspect a link between the SMS threats and the actual fire.
Threats against judges are not uncommon in Norway, but if such a link can be proved and result in a conviction, it will be the first time, communications director Erling Moe of Norway’s courts administration told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).