Arson attack causes £22000 damage to Brahma Kumaris business

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quantum

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Re: Arson attack causes £5,000 damage to BK business

Post12 Feb 2015

OK, thanks for that ex-l. Yes, it does sound like too much 'red tape' etc to find him through those means. Is it worth a Google search of the telephone directory, to see if he's in the phone book, and/or other Finchs to try randomly to see if any are related, and may be open to hearing of your support?
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ex-l

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Re: Arson attack causes £5,000 damage to BK business

Post12 Feb 2015

The best I can find so far is an address near Thetford in Norfolk, Sunnyside Farm, where he seems to have lived with a family by the name of Sproston.

Unfortunately the details are behind a paywall ...
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Mr Green

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Re: Arson attack causes £5,000 damage to Brahma Kumaris busi

Post12 Feb 2015

drove past it the other day, nearly refitted now
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ex-l

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Re: Arson attack causes £5,000 damage to Brahma Kumaris busi

Post23 Jul 2015

Shame, the real criminals walk free and actually get a court order protecting them. Story says £22,000 worth of damage ... but the BKs will likely have been insured. Stephen Finch goes down for 5 years meaning he'll probably be out in 2 or 3. Apparently he also sprayed "evil" across the shop window too. It sounds like his defence did not make enough of the cult abuse.

For example, there is a likely connection between his debt/depression and exiting the BKs.

Steve Wills' name comes up again. He's been accused of being an abusive center-in-charge by others. How much money did he take off Finch? And who is the "woman in Kelvedon Hatch". Another BK?

You know the old saying ... "Where there's smoke, there's fire".

If the BKs had any integrity, they would have helped him, not pressed charges. I wonder how this has effected them? For example, this is now the third major victim under Wills, when will he stop ruining lives with the Kirpalani Klan's nonsense?
Arsonist jailed for attack on Chelmsford Brahma Kumaris meditation centre

by Simon Murfitt

AN ARSONIST set fire to a Chelmsford meditation centre and a woman's home because he was angry with a religious organisation that he quit more than 20 years ago.

Stephen Finch, 52, was jailed for five years on Monday after pleading guilty to torching the Inner Space meditation centre in Chelmsford – a hub for the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University that he quit two decades ago.

Prosecutor Sasha Bailey told Chelmsford Crown Court how on Boxing Day last year, Steve Wills, the owners of the mediation centre and bookshop in Gloucester Avenue, got a phone call to warn him his store was on fire. He met Finch at a Chelmsford meditation centre in 1992, but when Finch quit in 1997 he started getting prank phone calls.

"Mr Wills had suffered harassing telephone calls that had come through to his work and mobile number," Miss Bailey told the court. "He remembers a telephone call made to him when the person said 'how did you get so fat?' and he remembers that he had put on quite a lot of weight since he had seen Mr Finch last. "When CCTV of the fire was viewed by Mr Wills he said he believed the person on the film was Mr Finch and was 100 per cent sure."

The blaze caused £22,000 of damage and 2,315 of books and CDs were destroyed.

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Miss Bailey also told the court how Finch had sprayed the word 'evil' across the shop window on October 19, before the arson attack, and that he had carried out a similar attack on a woman in Kelvedon Hatch, whom he had met at a meditation centre in Ilford.

"She left her car outside her house and in the morning when she woke was shocked to see there was spray paint on the door and bonnet and windows of the car," she said. "On January 6 she came home at around 5.30pm and saw her neighbours hanging around outside her house and she became aware there was smoke billowing out of her house. "She opened the door and thick smoke came out and she was unable to get in. "Her cat was brought out by the fire service and had to have a child's oxygen mask in order to survive.

"The damage to the property was around £80,000, and other expenses such as veterinary care for her cat, travelling expenses and temporary accommodation totalled £611. "There were also a number of old photographs of her family that were lost."

Finch was arrested two days after the attack on the house on January 18.

Gavin Burrall, defending, told the court how Finch felt 'somewhat aggrieved' by the Brahma Kumaris religious organisation. "The defendant suffers from ME, from time to time he suffers from seizures and he suffers from anxiety and depression," he said. "Anxiety due to his personal relationship and debt brought him to think of things from the past and carry out these offences."

"The defendant was effectively seeking to show he was unhappy with the organisation by starting the fires, he described it as a breakdown at that particular moment in time."

Judge Patricia Lynch added: "We know that the arsons were terribly dangerous offences and they must have been terrifying. You must know, or now know, that to pour petrol into anyone's letter box and set fire to it could endanger lives. "You have anxiety and depression to such a degree that when something goes wrong in your personal life your behaviour becomes irrational.

"These incidents, although separated by time, were when you were being irrational and not thinking straight, nonetheless they were very serious matters. "You took out your anxiety, your anger and your ill feelings on these particular issues and you should have known better."

Judge Lynch gave Finch credit for his guilty pleas but jailed him for four years for each of the arson attacks, to be served at the same time. He also got another year for each count of religiously aggravated criminal damage.

She also made an indefinite order restricting Finch from approaching any of his victims or any building linked to the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University.
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ex-l

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Re: Arson attack causes £22000 damage to Brahma Kumaris busi

Post23 Jul 2015

Note it says Steve Wills owns the business, not the BKWSU.

Another typical BK story ... opaque as usual. Has the "Baba" or BKWSU co-opted his wallet and bank account, and that is what he is eating so well off?

Or does he have the official franchise and get a commission on the business?

"Religiously Aggravated Criminal Offences" is a new development. Many would see religion as a crime against humanity ... a franchise of big confidence tricks by various priesthood castes all follow pretty much the same model.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 created a new category of Racially Aggravated Criminal Offences and Section 39 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 amended the Crime and Disorder Act so as to change the existing Racially Aggravated Criminal Offences into 'Racially or Religiously Aggravated Criminal Offences. An offence becomes Religiously Aggravated where

(a) at the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender demonstrates towards the victim of the offence hostility based on the victim's membership (or presumed membership) of a racial or religious group; or
(b) the offence is motivated (wholly or partly) by hostility towards members of a racial or religious group based on their membership of that group.

"Religious Group" is defined as "a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief."
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ex-l

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Re: Arson attack causes £22000 damage to Brahma Kumaris busi

Post31 Jul 2015

Stephen might be disheartened to discover that whereas he is legally disallowed from going anywhere near a BK centre, the BKs are still allow to come into prisons to indoctrinate prisoners and prison warders!

I can imagine they might suggest all he needs to do is re-do the 7 Day Course and do more meditation?

Further details from another local paper, here. Who was the woman that he targeted in his other attack, BK or post-BK relationship problems?

Post-BK relationship problem are not unusual when adherents struggle with the deep and negative programming indoctrinated into them by the Brahma Kumaris. More turn to self-harm and suicidal thoughts rather than criminal. Many are left living damaged lives and, like Stephen, bitter about being lied to, manipulated and exploited by the Kirpalani Klan elite who live off their money and free labour.
The damage to the property was around £80,000, and other expenses such as veterinary care for her cat, travelling expenses and temporary accommodation totalled £611.

Anxiety due to his personal relationship and debt brought him to think of things from the past and carry out these offences.

"The defendant was effectively seeking to show he was unhappy with the organisation by starting the fires – he described it as a breakdown at that particular moment in time."

"He is of the view that issues with the religious group have now been dealt with. Now these incidents have taken place he is no longer a risk of making offences. He understands the importance and seriousness of his actions and the danger they cause."

A psychiatric report found Finch suffered from anxiety and depression that can be managed by medication ...

Services Offered to Detainees

Working with prisoners has been the cornerstone of the Brahma Kumaris service in the offender management arena. With time and through personal experiences, the form of that service has been adapted to accommodate the particular needs and circumstances of inmates and to reflect the available ‘resources.’
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ex-l

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Re: Arson attack causes £22000 damage to Brahma Kumaris busi

Post18 Aug 2016

There were a couple of follow up to this case. Steven Finch appealed against the length of his sentance and it was denied.

It seems BK Steve Wills was a key player in the events, again. A sad case but, yes, the Brahma Kumaris do destroy lives in ways judges and prosecutors won't fully understand.
Arsonist jailed for attack on Chelmsford Brahma Kumaris meditation centre

By Simon Murfitt

AN ARSONIST set fire to a Chelmsford meditation centre and a woman's home because he was angry with a religious organisation that he quit more than 20 years ago.

Stephen Finch, 52, was jailed for five years on Monday after pleading guilty to torching the Inner Space meditation centre in Chelmsford – a hub for the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University that he quit two decades ago.

Prosecutor Sasha Bailey told Chelmsford Crown Court how on Boxing Day last year, Steve Wills, the owners of the mediation centre and bookshop in Gloucester Avenue, got a phone call to warn him his store was on fire.

He met Finch at a Chelmsford meditation centre in 1992, but when Finch quit in 1997 he started getting prank phone calls.

"Mr Wills had suffered harassing telephone calls that had come through to his work and mobile number," Miss Bailey told the court. "He remembers a telephone call made to him when the person said 'how did you get so fat?' and he remembers that he had put on quite a lot of weight since he had seen Mr Finch last. "When CCTV of the fire was viewed by Mr Wills he said he believed the person on the film was Mr Finch and was 100 per cent sure."

The blaze caused £22,000 of damage and 2,315 of books and CDs were destroyed.

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Miss Bailey also told the court how Finch had sprayed the word 'evil' across the shop window on October 19, before the arson attack, and that he had carried out a similar attack on a woman in Kelvedon Hatch, whom he had met at a meditation centre in Ilford.

"She left her car outside her house and in the morning when she woke was shocked to see there was spray paint on the door and bonnet and windows of the car," she said. "On January 6 she came home at around 5.30pm and saw her neighbours hanging around outside her house and she became aware there was smoke billowing out of her house.

"She opened the door and thick smoke came out and she was unable to get in. Her cat was brought out by the fire service and had to have a child's oxygen mask in order to survive. The damage to the property was around £80,000, and other expenses such as veterinary care for her cat, travelling expenses and temporary accommodation totalled £611. There were also a number of old photographs of her family that were lost."

Finch was arrested two days after the attack on the house on January 18.

Gavin Burrall, defending, told the court how Finch felt 'somewhat aggrieved' by the Brahma Kumaris religious organisation. "The defendant suffers from ME, from time to time he suffers from seizures and he suffers from anxiety and depression," he said. "Anxiety due to his personal relationship and debt brought him to think of things from the past and carry out these offences. The defendant was effectively seeking to show he was unhappy with the organisation by starting the fires, he described it as a breakdown at that particular moment in time."

Judge Patricia Lynch added: "We know that the arsons were terribly dangerous offences and they must have been terrifying. You must know, or now know, that to pour petrol into anyone's letter box and set fire to it could endanger lives.

"You have anxiety and depression to such a degree that when something goes wrong in your personal life your behaviour becomes irrational. These incidents, although separated by time, were when you were being irrational and not thinking straight, nonetheless they were very serious matters. You took out your anxiety, your anger and your ill feelings on these particular issues and you should have known better."

Judge Lynch gave Finch credit for his guilty pleas but jailed him for four years for each of the arson attacks, to be served at the same time.

He also got another year for each count of religiously aggravated criminal damage.

She also made an indefinite order restricting Finch from approaching any of his victims or any building linked to the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University.
Arsonist who torched Chelmsford meditation centre fails in bid to have his jail term slashed

By Essex Chronicle, March 21, 2016

AN EX-MEMBER of a religious group jailed for a revenge campaign of arson attacks against them because he later considered them a 'cult' deserved every day of his sentence, judges ruled.

Stephen Finch, 53, had been a follower of the Brahma Kumaris movement, but came to believe the group had ruined his life.

After leaving the group in 1997, it was 17 years later he decided to take revenge on two members, targeting the Inner Space meditation centre in Gloucester Avenue, Chelmsford, a hub for the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University, and a house in Brentwood.

He pleaded guilty to two reckless arsons and two counts of religiously aggravated criminal damage and was jailed for five years at Chelmsford Crown Court last July. Finch appealed on Thursday last week, but rejecting his bid, Mr Justice Openshaw said the sentence was fully justified for Finch's campaign of revenge.

"The seriousness of the offence was that this was deliberate, motivated by revenge," he told the Court of Appeal.

The court heard Finch had been a member of the spiritual movement, but had fallen out with other members. He said he found some to be "intimidating and bullying" and resolved to take retribution. "He thought the movement had ruined his life and he wanted to hit back," said the appeal judge. It began when he smashed a window and sprayed the word 'evil' at the meditation centre, which is also a charity shop and a bookshop, in October 2014. He then targeted a house, owned by a group member, in Brentwood, spraying the property and a car with paint.

On Boxing Day, he went back to the shop and set it alight, causing £25,000 worth of damage. And in January, he returned to the house in Kelvedon Hatch and used accelerant to start a fire in the doorway. Smoke damage was done to every room and some of the owner's personal belongings were destroyed, costing £80,000 to rectify.

Finch, of Thetford, Norfolk, told a probation officer he felt he had betrayed God, leading to years of nightmares, anxiety and stress. He deeply regretted his conduct.

Mr Justice Openshaw, sitting in London with Judge Stephen Kramer QC and Lord Justice Jackson, rejected that the sentence was too tough. He said: "However the sentences were structured, and even giving credit for his pleas of guilty, we cannot say that a total of five years for this course of conduct was manifestly excessive".

"Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed."
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Mr Green

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Re: Arson attack causes £22000 damage to Brahma Kumaris busi

Post19 Aug 2016

Although fire starting is an awful thing to do I still have empathy for him, I knew him personally years ago.
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ex-l

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Re: Arson attack causes £22000 damage to Brahma Kumaris busi

Post19 Aug 2016

One thing for sure, "forgiveness" is not part of Brahma Kumarism.

Sucking up and, now, ratting to authority are seemingly BK values. Or what BK values.

What do you make of his claims that the Brahma Kumaris cult had ruined his life?

His "Poverty" appears to be one element which, had he invested himself into a normal life of family and career would not have been so prominent.

Had he surrendered to the Steve Wills or BKs?

Who might the woman be within the BK world, and why did he attack her? (I am thinking a pukka BK would normally not have a cat).

Strange that he choose Steve Wills becoming fat as thing to attack. Unless, of course, like BK center-in-charges in general, he was doing so while living off center donations. Obviously it is a thing that happens as one becomes older, especially if part of a cult that eschews physical exercise, but, on the other hand, it also speak to me of emotional illness in the victims themselves, e.g. that they are overeating because they are disastified in other aspects of their life, to dull the mind (that is what the Gita says), out of sensual lust or a way of overcoming sensual desires (also what the Gita says) or due to low self-esteem.

Symptoms which, in a BK center-in-charge, would suggest to me that their practise was not working.
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