A 31-year-old Perth man has been sentenced to five years prison for arson and fraud in the Supreme Court today.
Iman Rahimi received four years and four months for arson, and eight months for fraud. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively.
The court erupted as the sentence was handed down, as Rahimi’s female supporters screamed, cried and hit chairs in front of them with their scarves.
Rahimi fell to his knees in the box, clasping his chest.
Judge Bruno Fiannaca initially asked security to remove the women from the court, but allowed them to stay after Rahimi successfully encouraged them to calm down.
Throughout the hearing, both woman prayed with their heads bowed and resting on the seats in front of them.
The fire Rahmini lit occurred in March 2017 when he spread citronella oil throughout a Welshpool property and set it alight.
He also bundled furniture and electrical items together to help the fire burn.
Firefighters arrived only seven minutes after the initial call was made by a member of the public and spent six hours battling the blaze.
But the building was damaged beyond repair, with an estimated damage bill between $14.4 million and $19.9 million.
An insurance claim was made by the building’s owner weeks after the incident, but has since been withdrawn after an investigation was launched.
Judge Fiannaca detailed Rahimi’s relationship with the owner, referring to him as a father figure and a mentor.
“It is obvious [the owner] had a tremendous amount of power over you,” he said.
The owner allegedly promised Rahimi $40,000 cash and a low-interest loan of $100,000 to commit the arson.
The owner, 63, is waiting to be sentenced after pleading guilty over the same incident.
Rahimi will be eligible for parole after serving three years.