Arson sentencing and mental health

Arson charges for $100,000 in property damages

Slades & Parsons solicitor Mr Louis Dean represented an accused person charged with arson. The client was charged after causing over $100,000 of damage by setting fire to a house where they were the tenant. The matter proceeded in the County Court of Victoria. Our client pleaded guilty to the charge.

Client mental health history

Through careful consideration of the prosecution evidence and our client’s instructions, it was apparent that the offence was committed in very unusual circumstances. The house the client resided in was in disrepair, and they had made multiple applications to VCAT for the repairs to be done that had not been actioned by the landlord. The client had told police that they were in a state of despair when the  offence was committed, and did so out of frustration and revenge. Our office subpoenaed hospital materials on the clients behalf, and Mr Dean was able to identify that they had a history of being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, which was not being treated at the time of the offence.

Sentencing: Two-year community corrections order

These subpoenaed materials, in combination with an investigation report prepared by the landlord’s insurance company, demonstrated that our client was severely impacted by emotional stress at the time of the offending. Although the prosecution called for the imposition of a sentence of imprisonment, the sentencing judge formed the view that the circumstances of our client’s case had been distinguished from other arson cases. Notwithstanding that imprisonment is the most common outcome for serious examples of arson, the Judge sentenced the client to a two-year Community Corrections Order, with special conditions to engage in mental health treatment and perform unpaid community work

Slades & Parsons promises results through attention to detail

This case demonstrates the importance of thoroughly assessing the prosecution evidence and carefully considering our clients’ personal circumstances. Careful preparation and well thought-out submissions are essential to obtaining the best outcome. Slades & Parsons Solicitors are focused on providing you with clear careful analysis and advice on all serious indictable matters and obtaining the best possible outcome at court.

Slades & Parsons lawyers are highly qualified to discuss any matters with you regarding arson charges and related matters.