Mental breakdown behind rental home blaze

A MAGISTRATE chose not to further punish a 42-year-old man who started a fire that caused extensive damage to his Cambooya rental property.

Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday heard Ian Kenneth Daniels was having a mental breakdown when he set fire to a wooden tallboy in the laundry of his home on November 25, last year.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tim Hutton said a school bus driver stopped at the man's Lucy St home about 4.25pm and noticed Daniels trying to light a fire underneath a car.

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Snr Const Hutton said the bus driver approached Daniels, who then ran inside his house.

It soon became evident that a fire had started in the laundry at the rear of the home.

Firefighters were called and were able to control the blaze, but not before it caused extensive damage to the laundry and toilet area as well as damage to a kitchen.

Daniels was lying on a trampoline holding a green lighter when police arrived.

Defence lawyer Nathan Bouchier said his client had already spent six weeks in custody for the incident.

Daniels only pleaded guilty to a wilful damage charge for destroying the wooden tallboy.

Magistrate Damian Carroll recorded a conviction for the offence and no further punishment was imposed.



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