Arsonist sentenced for setting fires outside a home after seeing girlfriend with another man

Curtis Edward McBean, 22, of Plympton-Wyoming, has been sentenced in Sarnia to 22 days in jail for setting two fires outside a home to frighten a girlfriend that he saw with another man.

McBean previously pled guilty to arson, harassment of the woman by watching a home, and damaging a vehicle.

Defense attorney David Stoesser told the court that McBean had a relationship with the woman for a few years and it was ongoing at the time of the offence, but added that it was over by Dec. 2010.

The incident happened on Dec. 28 when McBean went to the Sarnia home of the woman where she was at the time visiting with a male friend. He went to the door twice and asked to speak to the woman who he said he saw kissing the male friend.

Court was told that McBean could have only seen into the room if he had been in the backyard.

In what McBean would attribute upon arrest to tactics meant to frighten the woman, he responded to what he saw by placing bloody sunglasses in a car door and setting ablaze two bottles of flammable liquid that were settled against two exterior walls of the home.

McBean told the court that he was sorry.

Justice Ann McFadyen said that "emotional immaturity" and substance abuse may have fueled his actions, but he must nonetheless pay the consequences. She added that things could have ended much differently had the fire not been contained in short order.

The court was also told that McBean, who had no prior criminal record, has taken steps to control his anger and substance abuse issues.

The 22 days, already served in pre-sentence custody, will be followed by three years probation with conditions that he must stay away from drugs, alcohol and the victims, attend rehabilitative programs, not possess any incendiary devices, pay $5,300 in restitution, and give police a DNA sample.

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