Jail for trashing brother's house with fork-lift

The Local Norway
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Jail for trashing brother's house with fork-lift
The demolished house in Etne. Source: Private

A man in Norway was last week sentenced to 14 months in prison for demolishing his elder brother's house with a fork-lift truck.


The attack last summer came after the 53-year-old heard rumours that his brother planned to knock down an older house in the grounds of the family property in the village of Etne, which he believed he had a right to live in.
"His way of reacting was totally crazy," the elder brother's lawyer Sturla Vik-Vestly told The Local. "You don't tear down a house because you hear some rumours." 
According to Vik-Vestly, the unprovoked attack traumatized the elder brother and his sixteen-year-old son, who were both inside the house as the fork-lift truck began tearing down the walls. 
The man has also been ordered to pay nearly one million Norwegian Kroner ($164,000) in damages, and has received a five-year driving ban, as he was shown to have fled the scene drunkenly in a car. 
The attack was not the first time a bitter dispute between the two brothers has boiled over into violence. 
In 2012, as the two quarrelled over the old house on the family property, the younger brother broke into the elder brother's house and attacked him with a pick, for which he received a ten-month jail sentence. 
While he was in prison, the elder brother won the civil case between the two of them, with a court concluding that the younger brother had no legal right to live in the disputed property. 
On gaining his freedom, he heard the rumours that the elder brother now planned to destroy the house. 
"It was a kind of revenge from the youngest brother, because he lost the civilian law suit," Vik-Vestly said. 
"I have been practising law since 1999 and this is the first time I've ever seen that kind of behaviour," he added. "If you read the verdict from the local court, they say this is a unique case, there's been nothing like it before in Norway." 



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