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Arsonist Richard Franks sets fire to cash machines because 'money is the root of all evil'

A bitter arsonist set fire to at least three cash machines in Folkestone after claiming he did it “because money is the root of all evil!”

But a judge corrected Richard Franks’ Bible quotation, telling him: “It’s the excessive LOVE of money which is the root of all evil!”

Then, after quoting from the First Letter to Timothy, the judge proved correct the remainder of the verse..that “sorrows” follow chasing money and jailed him for 18 months.

Richard Franks set fire to several cash machines. Picture: Kent Police (4430388)
Richard Franks set fire to several cash machines. Picture: Kent Police (4430388)

Franks, of no fixed address, had admitted three arson charges after targeting cashpoint machines in Sandgate Road, Folkestone in May this year.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how one of the fires which destroyed an ATM owned by Santander caused £75,000 worth of damage.

Franks told police how he had used lighter fluid to start the fires because he wanted to damage all the money.

Judge Rupert Lowe told him: “You told police that money was the root of all evil..well the excessive love of money maybe the root of all kinds of evil but it is just silly to get it into your head that money is the root of all evil.”

The court heard that the root of some of Franks’ mental health problems was drug taking.

The judge added: “You have got to stop taking drugs. You are an habitual offender with convictions both here and in Australia.”

Judge Lowe pointed out the irony of Franks’ fires at the Santander. Halifax and Royal Bank of Scotland hole-in-the-wall machines, which had cost in excess of £75,000 to replace!

Damage to other machines were reported but no charges were brought against Franks.

*I Timothy 6 v 10 reads: "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows."

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