The eyes of Lisa Hay welled up yesterday as she heard the jury's verdict that she was guilty of deliberately setting her 81-year-old neighbour's Wangaratta home on fire in the middle of the night.
That quickly turned to tears when she was told she would be going straight into custody while she awaited sentencing.
After five days of evidence in Wodonga County Court, the jury spent just over five hours deliberating before deciding to find Hay, 36, guilty of arson and reckless conduct endangering life.
They found she started a fire at the back door of Catherine Siegers' Burke Street home in the early hours of September 1, 2017.
The fire destroyed the house, but Ms Siegers was able to escape without serious injury after she was woken by her smoke alarm.
The jury accepted the prosecution evidence that Hay left fingerprints on the fence separating her and the victim's properties, and that she was the most likely person to have lit the fires because she had already pleaded guilty to lighting four smaller fires at the home of a different neighbour in the months earlier.
Her interview with police had been played to the jury, where she claimed she had slept through the fire and response from emergency services.
Defence barrister Martin Kozlowski argued on Thursday that Hay had spent a year and a half on bail without any issues, but Judge Damian Murphy it would be unusual for that bail to continue after a finding of guilt.
He remanded her into custody and the case was adjourned until April 6 when Ms Siegers, who gave evidence on the first day of the trial but did not return to hear the rest of the case, will make a victim impact statement before the judge determines Hay's sentence.
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