A WANGARATTA man who put petrol in a beer stubby and used it as a Molotov cocktail to cause about $80,000 damage to a house was sentenced to two-years’ jail yesterday.
Magistrate John O’Callaghan imposed a 12-month minimum term on Cainan Jones, 18, and told him his actions had a significant impact on the victims, whose house and possessions were destroyed.
Police prosecutor Sen-Constable Heath Dosser tendered victim impact statements from family members lucky to escape their Department of Human Services home as it burned after the attack in the early hours of June 3.
“I read those victim impact statements and it makes you cry,” Mr O’Callaghan told Jones.
“It has had a massive impact on these people. They (the statements) had an effect on me.”
The family lost photographs, hand-made items from their grandmother and now wake from nightmares about being fire-bombed.
Mr O’Callaghan said some people blame the victims for what happened.
He told Jones that methamphetamine use combined with a mild intellectual disability he suffers were “a cocktail for disaster”.
Solicitor Geoff Clancy appeared for Jones and said the combination of ice and the disability made his client “a ticking time bomb”.
Jones appeared in Wangaratta Magistrates Court for sentencing on a series of charges including the arson offence and breaching a community corrections order.
The victim lived in a house in White Street with two teenage children and Jones went there between 2.30am and 3.30am.
He had argued with the victim’s teenage son in previous days.
A petrol bomb with a piece of towel in the top of a stubby was lit by Jones using a cigarette lighter.
It was thrown inside a porch area and, when flames could be seen, Jones ran off to a house in Mather Street.
“He is said to have bragged about what he had done,” Sen-Constable Dosser said.
The victim and her children were asleep in the house, but woke and managed to escape.
When interviewed by police, Jones admitted what he had done.
Mr Clancy said Jones needed a period of parole that forced him to comply with directions.
He suggested that Jones’ prospects of rehabilitation would increase greatly if he stayed away from drugs.
Mr O’Callaghan cancelled the community corrections order and imposed a three-month jail term, concurrent with the other period in custody.
Jones has already been in custody for 112 days after his arrest.