ARSON: "Act of stupidity by two immature boys"

AN ABANDONED house in Warwick was completely destroyed after Kevin Robert James Henry and his friend set it alight.

Henry was 20 when he drove to the house, which was in a grassy, wooded area, and watched as his mate set fire to the house.

At Warwick District Court yesterday the now 22 year old pleaded guilty to arson.

Crown prosecutor Matthew Le Grand said Henry texted his friend the day before and they spoke about taking a lighter and meeting the following day.

"He was involved in the planning stage and provided encouragement to the lighting of the fire by being voluntarily present," Mr Le Grand said.

The court heard there was no property inside the house and it was not in a suburban area.

Defence lawyer Jessica Goldie said there was no intent for insurance or retribution involved in the offence.

"It's simply an act of stupidity by two immature boys, effectively," she said.

But while Ms Goldie told Judge David Andrews that Henry was remorseful, he wished to tell His Honour in his own words.

Henry stood up and addressed the judge.

"I'm sorry for my actions," he said.

"I knew I was stupid I should have done more to stop him, Your Honour."

Judge Andrew said he understood Henry was not the principal offender and the act seemed to be an attempt to have fun.

"They do risk the emergency services people that may have to attend to extinguish it and risk causing financial loss to the owner of the property," he said.

As Henry had no criminal history and was not the primary offender, Judge Andrews resolved to sentence him to two years' jail but suspended the sentence immediately for four years.


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