Arson (Sentencing Cases)

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Case Digests

Sentencing cases for Arson.

2010 to present

Case Name Prv. Crt. Sentence Summary
R v Yellowknee,
2017 ABCA 60 (CanLII), per Rowbotham and Schutz JJA
AB CA 12 months
R v Hemmerling,
2017 BCPC 10 (CanLII), per Morgan J
BC PC 2 years less a day, probation The offender pleaded guilty to arson under s. 434. He was intoxicated, threatened family members and barricaded himself in the house before burning it down.
R v Pidgeon,
2016 ONCJ 334 (CanLII), per Konyer J
ON PC 5 months + 2 yrs prob. The offender was convicted of arson under s. 434. She set three fires within her home in attempt to look like an accident.
R v Bos,
2016 ONCA 443 (CanLII), per Tulloch JA
ON CA 18 months The offender was convicted at trial under s. 433 of burning down the garage and house owned by the family of her romantic partner. She was motivated by a desire to protect her reputation.
R v Sousa,
2014 ONCA 550 (CanLII), per Strathy CJ
ON CA 6 months The offender was convicted at trial of arson for setting fire to her rental home in attempt to defraud her insurer.
R v Fournel,
2014 ONCA 305 (CanLII), per Pardu JA
ON CA 3 years (arson)
5 years (global)
R v Jonah,
2014 ONCJ 19 (CanLII), per Harris J
ON PC 6 months The offenders was convicted of arson by setting his bedroom on fire while he was still in it in an aborted attempt to commit suicide. He was 38 years old and suffered significant burn injuries.
R v Flett,
2013 MBQB 124 (CanLII), per McCawley J
MB SC 6 months (arson)
life (manslaughter)
accused set fire to a rooming house intending to kill persons who were not present at the time. The fire ended up killing five other people she did not know about.
R v Day,
2013 BCCA 172 (CanLII), per Kirkpatrick JA
BC CA 17 months 434 arson
R v Crocker
2013 CanLII 71 (NL SCTD), per Seaborn J
NL SC 3 years
R v Augustine
2012 NBCA 7 (CanLII), per curiam
NB CA 5 years 433 arson causing fire to dwelling, one attempt
R v Fitzgerald
[2011] NSJ 718, 2010 NSPC 73 (CanLII), per Whalen J
NS PC 5 years lengthy record
R v Stephenson
2011 ONCJ 484 (CanLII), per Robertson J
ON PC 1 year + 3yP 433 arson, set fire to him room and fled in taxi, age 30, long record, drug addiction, abused as youth.
R v Veinot
2011 NSCA 120 (CanLII), per MacDonald CJ
NS CA 3 years arson (unspecified), hired someone to burn down victim's home; motivated by revenge for prior court case
R v Ireland
2011 ABPC 134 (CanLII), per Henderson J
AB PC 2 years less a day age 52, set fire to 3 story apartment building, 33 units, fire set recklessly
R v Levere
2011 ONCA 576 (CanLII), per curiam
ON CA 12 months CSO minor fire, age 58, no record
R v Meer
2011 ABQB 46 (CanLII), per Burrows J
AB SC 5 years 434 and 433 arson,
R v Morgan-McDougall
2011 ONCJ 119 (CanLII), per Pugsley J
ON PC 18 months CSO mentally ill, attempted suicide.
R v Nguyen
2011 ONSC 6229 (CanLII), per McWatt J
ON SC 2 years arson by negligence, house burned down, set up as meth lab
R v Popert
2010 ONCA 89 (CanLII), per Gillese JA
ON CA 9 months burned down friend’s house, main issue was $40,537.50 restitution order, ONCA rejected 2 years less a day CSO.

2000 to 2009

Case Name Prv. Crt. Sentence Summary
R v Mirzakhalili
2009 ONCA 905 (CanLII), per curiam
ON CA 2 years less a day burned down own building to defraud insurance of $200k
R v M(CP)
2009 ABPC 58 (CanLII), per Allen J
AB PC 434 arson, 1 year and probation after 18 mo remand credit 13 fires
R v Ligato
2009 ONCJ 405 (CanLII), per Blouin J
ON PC 18 mo CSO molotov cocktail into a salon $150,000 damage; no prior
R v Dervishaj
2009 BCPC 94 (CanLII), per Ball J
BC PC 1 year age 28, found guilty of 434 at trial, set fire to SUV, vehicle exploded, accused injured. no remorse. no record, illegally in Canada.
R v Van Oostwaard
2009 ABPC 358 (CanLII), per Barley J
AB PC 36 months firebombs house he knows to be occupied
R v Dervishaj
2009 BCPC 94 (CanLII), per Ball J
BC PC 12 months 434 arson, set car on fire
R v Porsch
2008 BCCA 488 (CanLII), per Hall JA
BC CA 9 years 4 counts of counselling to commit arson (unspecified)
R v Doucet
2008 ONCJ 267 (CanLII), per Nadel J
ON PC 12 months (JR)
R v Aoun
2008 ONCA 834 (CanLII), per curiam
ON CA trial judge rejects CSO, CA upholds
R v Bauming
2007 ABPC 223 (CanLII), per Maher J
AB PC 15 months CSO 434.1 arson,
R v MacDonald
[2007] BCJ 2978, 2007 BCPC 473 (CanLII), per Romano J
BC PC 40 months
R v Hall
2007 BCPC 125 (CanLII), per Rounthwaite J
BC PC 30 months The offender offered $500 to set fire to pub. He had a cocaine addiction, building unoccupied at the time. The building was completely destroyed, It was valued at 1.38 million. He had a dated unrelated record. He was remorseful.
R v Munro,
2007 BCPC 178 (CanLII), per Rounthwaite J
BC PC 26 months The offender set fire to pub for money. pub connected to hotel and restaurant facility. The fire did not spread beyond pub. total damage over $9 million. The offender was drug addict. youthful. remorseful.
R v Atwin,
2006 NBQB 287 (CanLII), per Cyr J
NB SC 1 year + 2yP The offender pled guilty to 434, set fire to two buildings, not remorseful, enjoys setting fires
R v Foster,
2006 NBQB 427 (CanLII), per McLellan J
NB QB 12 months CSO The offender was convicted for s. 433 arson. set fire to house, $20,000 of damage
R v Grabowski,
2006 BCSC 1124 (CanLII), per Bennett J
BC SC 10 years LTO, set fire to boat shed, store, two hotel rooms, four houses, research centre.
R v Engram,
2006 NBQB 280(*no CanLII links)
NB SC 2 years less a day CSO 435, 434.1 arson, burned down house for insurance, offender had excellent employment history, no record, just broken up with girlfriend, no risk to reoffend.
R v Ramsey,
[2005] OJ No 3428(*no CanLII links)
ON 30 months (JR) set fire to apartment building
R v Elliott,
[2005] OJ No 3886(*no CanLII links)
ON 9 months 434 arson, also sentenced on B&E
R v Barnes,
2005 BCCA 432 (CanLII), per Ryan JA
BC CA 2 years The offender killed cats and stole cheques; set fire to gathering place for people with mental health issues, total damage was about $75,000.
R v Hudey,
2005 MBCA 145 (CanLII), per Huband JA
MB CA 18 months substantial damages. youthful; long record of breaching court orders,
R v Ross,
2005 ABCA 231 (CanLII), per Costigan JA
AB CA 2 years also charged with mischief over, offender and another set fire to papers in cells.
R v Beckstrom,
2005 ABPC 196 (CanLII), per Fradsham J
AB PC 6 months (veh.), 12 months (garage) 434 arson
R v Wright,
[2004] OJ No 3321(*no CanLII links)
ON 2 years less a day set fire to trunk in trailer during domestic dispute, also sentenced for domestic assault
R v Klair,
2004 CanLII 8965 (ON CA), [2004] OJ No 2320, per Sharpe JA
ON CA life
R v Hirnschall,
2003 CanLII 46450 (ON CA), [2003] OJ No 2296, per Laskin JA
ON CA 18 month CSO started fire in hotel he owned, age 58, brain aneurysm, no record, CA did not interfere with CSO, but stated “a conditional sentence for Mr. Hirnschall seems out of step with the recent judgments of this court in arson cases”.
R v Bourgeois,
2003 NBPC 1 (CanLII), per Lordon J
NB PC 4 years set fire to Catholic Church. extensive damage of $625,581. Offender age 51 with lengthy record, history of drug abuse
R v Brain,
2002 BCPC 218 (CanLII), per Doherty J
BC PC 1 year + 3yP set fire to a quonset hut, value as $60,000. criminal record, pathological fire starter, had 1 year remand time.
R v Fox
2002 CanLII 41943 (ON CA), (2002) O.J. 2496 (Ont. C.A.), per curiam
ON CA 20 months CSO youthful offender was intoxicated, broke into cottage and inadvertently set fire to cottage. Cottage was unoccupied, but owned by elderly couple. Damage was between $10-15,000. CSO extended from 12 months but stated that “[the trial judge sentence] was unfit for such a serious offence. ... no good purpose would be served by converting the conditional sentence to a custodial one at this juncture.”
R v Rowsell,
2002 CanLII 54000 (NL SCTD), [2002] N.J. No. 73, per Leblanc J
NL 2 years less a day offender burned down house after mother tried to sell it. Underlying issues with drugs alcohol and mental health – difficult childhood – personality disorder--was drinking at time--CSO not appropriate
R v Montgomery,
2002 ABPC 36 (CanLII), per Semenuk J
AB PC 3 years 434 arson
R v Sandouga,
2002 ABCA 196 (CanLII), per Fruman JA
AB CA 2.5 years 434 arson, hurled a Molotov cocktail at an Edmonton synagogue; hate crime
R v Braun,
[2001] BCJ No 2578 (BCSC), 2001 BCSC 1689 (CanLII), per McEwan J
BC SC 6 years age 81--part of college burned down, $250k damage, 14 prior related convictions–-religious motive--$200k in restitution
R v McFee,
2001 NSCA 82 (CanLII), per Glube CJ
NS CA 3 months inmate offender threw matches at another, caused fire
R v Williams,
2001 NBQB 32 (*no CanLII links)
NB SC 9 months two counts of arson, $570k range. offender age 24, was pyromaniac, prior record.
R v Etmannski,
2001 ABPC 90 (CanLII), per Fradsham J
AB PC 31 months 433 and 433 arson, threw molotov cocktails through window of ex. No injuries.
R v Saba
[2000] BCJ No2207, 2000 BCCA 580 (CanLII), per Southin JA
BC CA 6 years convicted of mischef causing danger to life; age 21 ; set fire to apartment building he lived in; 80 tenants in building; 22 tenants rescued by firefighters; already had 22 mo remand
R v Eng
2000 BCCA 31 (CanLII), per Finch JA
BC CA 11 years five counts of arson, two office units, one residence, one office building, and a dormatory; paranoid schizophrenic, previous record for arson, no remorse.
R v Herbert,
2000 CanLII 27033 (MB CA), (2000) 142 Man. R. (2d) 159, 212 W.A.C. 159 (C.A.), per Huband JA
MB CA 6 month CSO set fire to residential complex, intoxicated at the time, age 21, fetal alcohol syndrome,

1970 to 1999

Case Name Prv. Crt. Sentence Summary
R v Campbell,
[1999] OJ No 796(*no CanLII links)
ON 3 years (JR) 39 years old, no record, letting gas escape in his home, explosion distroyed his and two other houses. 37 homes damaged. $2 million in damage, offender only person injured, attmempted suicide.
R v Shore,
1999 BCCA 227 (CanLII), per Southin JA
BC CA 2 years less a day CSO The offender burned down boat while people sleeping in it. He had a “substantial history of past psychiatric contact”
R v Allard,
[1999] BCJ No. 1912, 1999 BCCA 481 (CanLII), per Finch JA
BC CA 4 years burned down his residence after being asked to leave
R v McBurney,
1998 CanLII 5141 (BC CA), [1998] BCJ No. 895, per Lambert JA
BC CA 9 months set fire to fireworks store, no one else present, $15k in damage, CSO rejected
R v Murphy,
(1998), 126 Man.R.(2d) 138 (C.A.)(*no CanLII links)
MB CA 3 yP An appeal from 15 months jail sentence. The offender was schizophrenic. He set fire to bed in attempt to commit suicide. 9 months remand credit was given.
R v Lenart,
(1998), 1998 CanLII 1774 (ON CA), 123 CCC (3d) 353 (ONCA), per Finalyson JA
ON PC 2 years The offender was convicted of arson (unspecified). He set fire to rural home. He led a police chase; prior record of arson. He was diagnosed with a mental health condition. 6 months remand credit was given. He was on probation for a previous conviction for arson at the time. His record included 3 prior breaches. He denied needing treatment but was diagnosed as having an incurable personality disorder.
R v Peters,
1998 CanLII 13351 (SK PC), [1998] S.J. No. 706, per Bekolay J
SK PC 18 months CSO The offender pleaded guilty to s. 434. She was told to move out. She got upset, smashed windows and set couch on fire. She made no attempts to put it out or get help. The house burnt to the ground. A psychiatrist found no illness, but said she had an anger management problem. She had a low risk to re-offend. She was youthful and remorseful. The judge adopted the recommendation of the sentencing circle.
R v Pella,
[1997] OJ No 5527 (*no CanLII links)
ON 2 years less a day CSO age 59, no remorse, supporting 2 children and wife, set own house on fire for insurance money
R v Young,
[1997] OJ No.6214 (OCJ) (*no CanLII links)
ON PC 5 years offender also charged with killing cattle and threats; burned down a barn; judge lowered sentence for totality (p.7)
R v Deen,
(1997), 1997 CanLII 2310 (BC CA), 120 CCC (3d) 482, 99 BCAC 46, per Southin JA
BC CA 2 years + 3yP also charged with theft over, break and enter; motivated by need for drug money; damage total 3.2 million; offender of good character and remorseful; overturned 4 year sentence
R v Beland
[1995] NBJ No. 205 (*no CanLII links)
NB 2 years, 3 months commercial arson
R v Malley,
1994 CanLII 3910 (NB QB), [1994] NBJ No 279 (NBQB), per Riordon J
NB SC 22 months to 4.5 years three youths sets fire to boat stored in building; $4 million damage
R v Grenkow
[1994] 95 CCC (3d) 255 (NSCA), 1994 CanLII 3965 (NSCA), per Jones JA
NS CA 3 years 433(a);set fire to condo complex
R v Wattenberger
(1984), 56 A.R. 238 (C.A.), 1994 CanLII 240 (ABCA), per Harradence JA
CA 3 years employee burned down grain elevator after being refused time off
R v Duncan,
[1983] NSJ 520 (NSCA) (*no CanLII links)
NS CA 2 years 9 months set fire inside jail
R v Covey,
[1981] NSJ No. 56 (NSCA)(*no CanLII links)
NS CA 5 years 4 counts of arson, age 24, no record, diagnosis of personality disorder
R v Rhyno
(1977), 19 NSR 359 (NSCA) (*no CanLII links)
NS CA 2 months

Causing Bodily Harm or Death

Case Name Prv. Crt. Sentence Summary
R v Mason,
2011 MBQB 66 (CanLII), per Keyser J
MB SC 10 years The offender was convicted of arson causing bodily harm and manslaughter. Two people were killed when the offender, after drinking, set fire to rooming house.
R v Sheets,
2005 ABPC 164 (CanLII), per Fradsham J
AB PC 5 years The offender was convicted of arson causing death.
R v Trecartin,
[1993] NBJ No. 658, 1993 CanLII 5382 (NB CA), per curiam
NB 12 years The offender was convicted of arson causing death for setting fire to a house.