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Briton with a mental age of seven jailed for four years for starting fire at Spanish hotelAndrew Dmytruk, 51, had been on remand in Spain for almost two yearsCampaigners say he has learning difficulties and is dependent on his 77-year-old mother
18:24 GMT, 14 December 2012
Jailed: Andrew Dmytruk, 50
A British holidaymaker with a mental age of seven has been jailed for four years and four months after he admitted starting a fire in a Spanish hotel.
Andrew Dmytruk, 51, from Nottingham, who has suffered from serious mental health problems since contracting meningitis as a baby, started a fire at a complex in Benidorm, on the Costa Blanca, in December 2010,
Mr Dmytruk's lawyer's Marcos Castaner yesterday reached a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors who had been calling for him to be jailed for nine years.
During a hearing at the Provincial Court in Alicante Mr Dmytruk, who has been on remand since the incident, agreed to plead guilty if the sentence was reduced to four years and four months.
He had been celebrating his birthday on holiday with his widowed mother, Doris O'Brien, at the time of the incident. She says he is innocent and did not start the hotel fire.
The three-star Ambassador hotel was evacuated after Dmytruk allegedly set fire to his room.
The 10-storey, 200-room hotel filled with black smoke and 13 Brits, mostly pensioners, were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
Doctors said he was fit to stand trial for arson, but Fair Trials International previously said: 'Owing to complications from meningitis that he suffered as a baby, Andrew has the mental age of a young child.
'He has been refusing much of the food
given to him and in March 2012 he attempted suicide, leaving him
increasingly withdrawn and his mother increasingly worried.'
The group said Dmytuk has been denied bail largely because he is a foreigner.
Benidorm, near Alicante on Spain's east
coast, attracts around a million Britons each year, making it one of our
favourite holiday destinations.
Holiday horror story: Ambassador Hotel filled with black smoke after the fire and 13 guests were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation