A 21-year-old who lit a fire in a dilapidated heritage-listed house at Prospect causing $100,000 damage has received a fully suspended prison sentence.
Brody John Treloar was sentenced in the Supreme Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to one count of arson in relation to the fire at 3.30pm on December 22, 2018.
Treloar and an unknown person used a cigarette lighter to set fire to a "pile" of loose items in the front room of the circa-1860s former gatehouse of the Mount Pleasant Estate on Westbury Road.
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The house was unoccupied, but had been used by squatters "for some time" including around the time of the fire, the court heard.
Treloar and the other person fled the house as it started to burn. Passers-by called the fire brigade but the house had been "substantially destroyed".
A psychological assessment detailed Treloar's low level of intellectual functioning as a contributing factor to his offending. Treloar told police his intention was to only set the pile of items alight, rather than the whole house, however, he also conceded he had considered the possibility of the fire spreading.
Justice Michael Brett said the offending involved "thoughtless and pointless destruction" in an attempt to "obtain some kind of thrill", rather than premeditation.
"There were considerable risks involved in lighting this fire, including that someone may have been in the house unknown to you, that the fire might have spread to other buildings, and, of course, the ever-present risk to firefighters and emergency services," he said.
"Further, your actions have caused significant loss to the owner or the owner's insurance company.
"Although your actions were unplanned and impulsive, they have had severe consequences and caused significant risk."
Treloar was convicted and sentenced to 18 months' prison, wholly suspended, with judicial monitoring.