London | A forty-something woman was sentenced Monday by a court in Liverpool to three years in prison for having set fire to a relay antenna that he believed was linked to the spread of the new coronavirus in the United Kingdom.
Michael Whitty, 47 years old, manager of parking at Liverpool John Lennon airport, had done research on the internet about theories linking the 5G to the virus, before burning, on April 4, the control cabinet of the tower of the Vodafone group, in Kirkby, to the north-east of Liverpool.
This father of three children, who collected already 29 convictions, including for assault and possession of a firearm, had pleaded guilty to arson.
“I believe that there has been a high degree of preparation and premeditation,” said judge Thomas Teague at a hearing by videoconference.
“The lights-lights have been used and, to the extent that the aim was to put the antenna-relay out-of-use, there was an intention to cause significant damage to the property of others,” he added.
The magistrate was felt, however, that the defendant, who is also a volunteer at a charity, had shown genuine remorse.
According to the indictment, the equipment has been out of service for 11 days and the damages are estimated between 10 000 and 15 000 pounds (17 000 and 25 000 canadian dollars).
The accused has been confused by lights up-lights, found in his home during a search, similar to those used on the location of the fire.
Analysis of his mobile phone also revealed to online research on the technology for 5G, the participation in discussion groups on the topic, as well as pictures and videos of other base stations in the vicinity of Liverpool.
Several towers have been attacked since the beginning of the pandemic in the United Kingdom following the dissemination of rumours complotistes linking the 5G to the COVID-19.