Calista man avoids jail after trying to set Admiral Hotel on fire

A CALISTA man who took particular offence to being kicked out of a pub and then tried to burn it down appeared at the Supreme Court on June 17 for sentencing.

Cory Desmond Knight pleaded guilty to being armed so as to cause fear and criminal damage by fire.

Knight received an intensive supervision order for two years, with supervision and programme requirements.

Justice Bruno Fiannaca said the offences occurred on April 24, 2015 about 11pm.

Knight was inside the Admiral Hotel in Kwinana when security guards approached and escorted him from the premises due to his level of intoxication.

Minutes later Knight returned with a large stick and began acting aggressively and threatening the security guards.

For safety they locked themselves inside the hotel.

Knight, incensed, began pacing outside the entrance for about five minutes and eventually left; security guards, thinking it was safe, re-opened the entrance doors.

Police attended and found Knight a short distance away before taking him home.

Knight returned to the area about 1am.

He went to a BP service station and bought five litres of unleaded fuel and a red fuel container; the station’s CCTV captured footage of him while he filled the container.

Knight then returned to the hotel, where he poured petrol on a fence and along a grassed area leading away from the fence. He then lit the petrol and left the area.

Police attended and put out the fire. They seized the red fuel container Knight had left behind.

He was arrested on May 6 and made some admissions but blamed it on his intoxicated state.

“It is necessary for you to appreciate the seriousness of arson offences and the way in which the courts traditionally regard them,” Justice Finnanca said.

“The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment because of the unpredictable nature of fire and the danger that it poses, which you have acknowledged.

“In this case it is the potential of harm that could have been done if the fire had taken hold and spread.”

As well as the supervision order, Justice Finnanca ordered him to pay $250 compensation for the fire damage.