An Ipswich woman has been given probation after she lit a fire that caused $80,000 damage to a public housing unit. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
An Ipswich woman has been given probation after she lit a fire that caused $80,000 damage to a public housing unit. Picture: Mark Cranitch.

Doona firelighter caused $80k damage to public housing unit

AN Ipswich woman who set fire to a doona causing $80,000 in damage to a public housing unit has been given probation, after a court was told she was under significant psychological distress.

Christine Cook, 59, was living alone in a unit at Inch Community Housing in Mitchelton on August 20, 2016 when she deliberately lit a doona that was on top of her couch.

She appeared at Brisbane District Court on Thursday via videolink from her home at Deebing Heights, where she pleaded guilty to endangering a property by fire.

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Defence barrister Kevin Kelso said Cook called 000 immediately after leaving the unit and made full admissions to police.

Mr Kelso said Queensland Fire and Emergency Services arrived quickly preventing any structural damage and the $80,000 repair bill was mostly due to smoke and water damage.

The court was told Cook had battled mental health issues for decades and was under significant psychological distress when she lit the fire.

"She was someone who was obviously mentally unstable at the time," Mr Kelso said.

"That's a significant factor in my submission."

Judge John Allen took on board Cook's mental health and the impact jail time or a conviction would have on her wellbeing.

Cook was sentenced to 18 months' probation.

A conviction was not recorded. - NewsRegional

 

 

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