Perth: 35-year-old man sentenced to more than four years in prison for train station fire

The damage at the information centre at Perth Station. Picture: Matt Zis.
The damage at the information centre at Perth Station. Picture: Matt Zis.

A 35-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to four years and six months in prison for lighting a series of fires across the CBD, including at Perth train station, while in a drug-induced psychosis.

Donald James Ranger appeared at the Supreme Court today pleading guilty to two charges of criminal damage by fire and one charge of burglary.

The offences occurred early in the morning on Wednesday, February 21 this year, with an estimated $705,000 damage caused to the heritage Perth train station.

Mr Ranger walked up to a rubbish bin near James Street by the Cultural Centre around 3am and set a fire inside it, destroying the bin.

He then set fire to another bin near the top of the Cultural Centre staircase, causing minor damage.

He was moved on by Fringe Festival guards.

Mr Ranger then walked to Perth train station where he set a fire inside a bin on the platform, and it was put out by cleaning staff.

Finally, Mr Ranger attempted to kick the glass door to the station information centre, eventually ramming it with his body.

He placed paper timetables inside a bin, and continued stoking the fire until the building subsequently was set alight.

He was arrested by guards who saw him exiting the building.

Mr Ranger has been in custody since his arrest, and his defence noted a psychiatrist’s report deemed him to be suffering from drug-induced psychosis.

Justice Stephen Hall noted socioeconomic factors caused Mr Ranger’s drug use and he had been exposed to them from an early age.

However, he said while the methylamphetamine use played a role in the offences, it was Mr Ranger’s decision to use the drug.

He will be eligible for parole after two years and six months, and was ordered to pay $205,122 for repair work completed so far by the Public Transport Authority.