Student Who Set Fires in College to Avoid Exam Spared Jail Despite ‘Pyromaniac’ Confession

In a disturbing turn of events, a self-proclaimed “pyromaniac” student, Ozlem Firat, resorted to arson as a means to evade an impending exam at Newcastle College’s Parsons Building on May 28, 2021.

The 24-year-old student ignited toilet paper in two separate incidents, causing substantial damage that amounted to over £7,000.

One fire erupted in the ladies’ restroom on the sixth floor, while the other occurred in the third-floor women’s bathroom.

The Dark Web Connection

During the investigation, it was revealed that Firat had been frequenting dark web chatrooms, where she openly discussed her intention to set fires to avoid her exam.

In one particularly disturbing chat, she expressed “excitement at watching bodies burning.”

Despite her initial denial of responsibility, she later admitted to being a pyromaniac and confessed her fascination with fire.

Legal Consequences

Firat’s actions did not result in a jail sentence but instead led to a suspended 14-month prison term, coupled with rehabilitation and curfew requirements.

The court considered her narcissistic and dangerous, as assessed by doctors.

It was noted that she posed a high risk of serious harm to the public.

The Lack of Harmful Intent

Firat’s defense argued that there was no intention to harm anyone in the building, emphasizing that she didn’t seek to harm students or staff.

Her severe personality disorder, which had never received appropriate treatment, was cited as a factor contributing to her actions.


This case serves as a stark reminder of the complexities surrounding mental health issues and their intersection with criminal behavior.

While the court acknowledged the severity of her actions, the decision to opt for a suspended sentence, rehabilitation, and curfew underscores the importance of addressing the root causes and providing individuals like Firat with the help they need.

It’s a situation that prompts reflection on the delicate balance between punishment and rehabilitation in the criminal justice system, particularly when mental health issues are involved.

Advertisement: Download Vital Signs App (VS App)