Hungry Prisoner Eats Mattress Skip to content

Hungry Prisoner Eats Mattress

Reykjanes District Court ordered a 50-year-old man to pay the state treasury ISK 20,000 (USD 155, EUR 116) and the Suðurnes police ISK 19,957 for eating and destroying a prison cell mattress in cell number 4 at the Keflavík jail house.

litlahraun_psArchive photo of Litla-Hraun prison in South Iceland. The photo is unrelated to the story.

The man had earlier been arrested for having wined and dined, without paying, at the Keflavík Airport Hotel on December 1, 2011. He was subsequently put in a cell while he sobered up.

The man admitted to having destroyed the sponge mattress but argued that he was so hungry that he had no choice. He told the court that he had asked prison staff for food and drink but that his requests were refused and that he had been treated inhumanely.

The judge ruled the claims ridiculous, stating that he had in fact been given something to drink three times during the night and was also offered coffee, which he declined.

The man has a long history with police. According to, this was his 15th sentence since 1980.

He has been warned that he will be sent to serve two days in prison if the fine is not paid.


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