On September 9, 2018, around fifty firefighters were involved in this fire which had impacted a total of nearly a dozen in this business area of Auzeville-Tolosane, near the agricultural school, south of Toulouse, between Ramonville -Saint-Agne and Castanet-Tolosan. Already spotted on the scene, a Nantes entrepreneur was quickly questioned by investigators, and placed in police custody. Patrick D., 67 years old, is tried from this Tuesday, November 16 in Toulouse, more than three years after the facts, for destruction of other people’s property and use of false plates on a vehicle.
Arrested a few minutes after the fire was reported
It’s a story that begins almost in reverse since on September 9, 2018, the Escalquens gendarmes first spotted a suspicious vehicle before the fires broke out. They find in fact during their patrol a concealed car and visible ready to repair, whose license plates are concealed by false plates, different on the front and rear. The gendarmes easily identify the vehicle and its owner. They call for reinforcements to watch him.
The fires did not break out until half an hour later, 500 meters from this car. The flames set ablaze an industrial building that houses four companies belonging to the same manager, in the field of water purification. A few minutes after the fire was reported, a man is spotted near the suspect vehicle, stepping over the security fence to his car. The sixty-year-old, who smells of methylated spirits, is immediately arrested and immediately admits being the author of the fire. The gendarmes discover on him a cutter, a glove and a lighter.
He criticizes his rival for selling copies of his devices
The respondent explained to the investigators that he had targeted SARL Biotrade, one of the four companies, a direct competitor of his own company, FB Processes, which market innovative water purification equipment. SARL Biotrade had been convicted in civil proceedings for unfair competition for having sold under another name a device developed by FB Processes. The Toulouse company since sold copies of this device imagined by the Nantes resident. A new trial was underway. Patrick D. was about to retire and to bequeath his business to his son, he wanted to eliminate a harmful competitor.
The competing boss files a complaint. Patrick D. appeared on October 16, but the civil party, convinced that the author had accomplices, requested the opening of a judicial investigation. But the surveys did not determine the presence of co-authors, especially since the Nantes resident has always explained that he acted alone. Patrick D. is referred to the criminal court.
Patrick D. compared free. He served three and a half months in pre-trial detention before being placed under judicial supervision at the end of January 2018. He will be represented by Nantes lawyers, Pierre-Marie Cado, Marie-Emmanuelle Beloncle and Loïc Cabioch. The victim is represented by Vincent Valade.