Fire bug's rampage causes almost $20,000 of damage

IN THE early hours of January 8, Zachary Daniel Thatcher set six fires in an intoxicated rampage, causing almost $20,000 in damages.

The former Moranbah man pleaded guilty to seven arson-related charges in Maryborough District Court on Thursday.

The court heard that between 1am and 5am on January 8 Thatcher, then 21, left a mate's house in Moranbah under the influence of alcohol and the drug ice.

He stopped at five locations, and either attempted or successfully started fires, causing property damage.

Thatcher's first stop was at a building where he burned the corner of a door.

He then moved on to shops, where he set fire to a wheelie bin outside a toy store.

He moved on and set alight to another wheelie bin, causing more than $1000 in damage to a building's wooden door.

Thatcher's next stop was at a car wash, where he again targeted a bin, before lying to attending police about his involvement. He set alight another bin outside a real estate office.

The court heard Thatcher then started a fire in an unoccupied unit that burned through a carport, destroying an electrical lead and damaging electronics.

Crown Prosecutor Gavin Webber said the unit's tenants were homeless for a time after the fire had damaged the electrical box, leaving the dwelling without power or water.

The damages were quoted at more than $17,000.

Defence Barrister Don MacKenzie said his client had suffered from a deep depression after a break-up with a girlfriend and struggled with drugs.

"He has left Moranbah and moved to Maryborough to be with his father," Mr MacKenzie said.

Judge Paul Smith said he took into consideration the man's mental health issues, but said being intoxicated was not a mitigating factor.

"This is an example where ice use is destructive to our society," Judge Smith said.

"It is a very serious drug that causes untold harm to the community."

He sentenced Thatcher to two years' jail on two counts of arson, 12 months on four counts of endangering a building with fire and 18 months for attempted arson.

His parole date was set on Thursday.

He will pay $905 to Energex and $15000 for other damages. 



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