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Saudi child fined SR900,000 for accidentally burning friend

Fayez Mohammed Awwad (Alsaudeh.com)

A Saudi court fined a 12-year-old local boy SR900,000 (Dh890,000) on charges of causing burns to his younger friend by accidentally pouring petrol on him while they were having a barbecue three years ago, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Fayez Mohammed Awwad said he was around nine years old when the incident happened near their house in the northwestern town of Turaif.

He said they were roasting potato and wanted to make a bigger fire just outside their neighbourhood, adding that he went to his house and brought a petrol gallon.

“I started to pour petrol on the fire and some of it was splashed by accident on my friend. When he came close to the blaze, his clothes caught fire.

“He was treated in hospital and the fire did not cause him any handicap or deformity,” he said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Al Sharq.

“We are still fiends and we are playing together every day. He is in a very good condition and we both forgot about what happened three years ago.”

The paper said the judge who sentenced Fayez told him that the verdict is initial and that he can appeal.

“It quoted the boy as saying his ill father got worse after hearing about the sentence, adding that he lives with his divorced mother.

The paper quoted Fayez’s father as saying his son was attending court hearings on his own although he is a minor.

“The judge sentenced my son who even did not know what was going on as it is illegal to try a minor in the absence of a guardian. The court also did not see the other boy to determine the extent of damage,” he said.