Arsonist supporter booted from court

A WOMAN was ejected from the Launceston Supreme Court yesterday after an outburst from the public gallery.

Jamie Allan George, 24, had previously pleaded guilty to torching a Ravenswood home five days before Christmas.

The owner was asleep in the home at the time but was woken by the sound of flames that quickly engulfed and then destroyed the property. The owner escaped without injury.

The court heard the Ravenswood property was valued at $200,000 but had only been insured for $162,000.

An estimated $20,000 in contents were uninsured.

During the incident George, who suffered from limited intellectual capacity, also set fire to himself and spent several weeks in hospital.

Not long after being discharged George set fire to vegetation on a vacant block at the back of Pioneer Parade, which spread to a farm.

Yesterday Justice Robert Pearce said lighting the second fire demonstrated a lack of remorse.

During his sentencing remarks court security was forced to remove a supporter of George.

Crown prosecutor Yolanda Prenc said an insurance claim had not been settled because asbestos was discovered in the home.

Ms Prenc said the home owner had been too distraught to provide a victim impact statement.

Justice Pearce said the crimes warranted a sentence reflecting "retribution, denunciation and protection of the public".

He ordered George, who also pleaded guilty to theft and attempted theft of motor vehicles and common assault, serve two years' prison with a non-parole period of 12 months.

The house owner's brother, who attended court, said his sibling's life had been ruined by the fire.

"He got out alive, which is paramount, but Mr George you have to be responsible for your actions," Timothy Wilson said.

"The punishment doesn't fit the crime."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop