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Thu May 26 18:33:17 SAST 2016

Angry groom guilty of burning down wedding venue

Sapa | 13 August, 2013 10:35
Fire. File photo
Image by: Bruce Gorton

A Bloemfontein bridegroom was found guilty of arson for burning down the conference centre that cancelled his wedding booking.

Jean Greyling, 28, pleaded guilty to arson when he appeared before the Bloemfontein Regional Court after a conference centre at the Emoya Estate, outside Bloemfontein, was destroyed in a fire.

"It broke my heart to see my future wife in tears the whole day," Greyling said in his plea explanation in court, the Volksblad reported.

The bridegroom admitted he set fire to the building during the early hours of July 27. The wedding ceremony was apparently cancelled the previous day after deposits were not paid.

Greyling told the court he did not think the whole building would be destroyed. He contacted the police's investigator about a week after the fire to confess to the crime. Greyling would be sentenced next month.

He married his girlfriend, Lianne Meyer-Bekker (now Greyling), at a restaurant at Bloemfontein's Loch Logan Waterfront.

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