Arsonist escapes the heat of jail

Gordon firebug, Robert Wallace has been sentenced to 200-hours of unpaid community work.

The 67-year-old Werribee resident, who lit fire to the front of his daughter-in-law’s family-run general store in October of last year, will spend the next 12-months on a community corrections order.

The order includes frequent mental health rehabilitation, 200-hours of unpaid community work and a total prohibition to enter within 5km of the township of Gordon.

Mr Wallace was ordered to pay $1,308 in compensation for the damage, which included a burnt front door, burnt mats and burns to the front of the store, which forced the Spiteri family to close their business for 24 hours.

Magistrate Richard Pithouse sentenced Mr Wallace to the 12-month order in the Sunshine Magistrates Court on May 6, stating that he had taken a lot of things into consideration, including the man’s age, mental-health status, lack of priors and plea of guilty.

Magistrate Pithouse also addressed the Spiteri family, who were evident in court.

“I have thought about your best interests, his best interests and also the community at large, and after reading your statement I think you will have comfort in knowing you will no longer have to come into contact with him again,” he said.

First appeared in The Moorabool News, May 12 2015

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