Fremantle Prison fire: man sentenced to two years in jail

A 44-year-old man has been sentenced to two years in jail for breaking into Fremantle Prison and lighting a fire.

Adam John Douglas Merrett was sentenced by the Supreme Court of Western Australia on Friday and will serve a minimum of 12 months for the incident, which occurred in April 2014.

He gained entry to cottage number two at the prison, WA’s only world heritage listed building, by smashing a window.

Mr Merrett then used paint to set alight a wooden door inside the cottage, causing fire damage to the floor, wall and ceiling as well as smoke damage to adjoining rooms.

The total repair bill was put at $22,881, and Mr Merrett – who claimed to be under the influence of amphetamine at the time of the fire – was ordered to pay a compensatory sum of $4,816.

Although the sentencing judge conceded Mr Merrett had a longstanding history of mental illness and drug abuse, he decided to impose a custodial sentence.

He was sentenced to 15 months for the burglary offence and two years for the arson, with the terms to be served concurrently.

He will be eligible for parole after 12 months.