Arsonist sentenced in Supreme Court


A Perth man has been sentenced to 18 months in a psychiatric facility after he set fire to a couch in a suburban home.

Michael Paul Bennier faced the Supreme Court this morning after pleading guilty to the incident, which took place in June 2017.

The 25-year-old showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down by Justice Joe McGrath.

The judge said there was a clear link between Bennier’s mental health issues and his propensity for lighting fires.

“You put at risk the lives of police and firefighters who had to put out the fires,” he said.

The court was told Bennier set the couch on fire because he believed someone was hiding inside it. The fire spread through the house and caused $30,000 in damage.

Bennier, who had a history of drug abuse, was under the influence at the time of the offence.

The court was told he used $1800 worth of drugs a week while he was working.

He was given credit for time served, meaning he will be eligible for parole later this month.