BBQ row sparks Molotov attack

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 21 Februari 2013 | 19.55

AN arsonist who tried but failed to burn down his neighbour's Kingston home with a Molotov cocktail succeeded on his second attempt by setting fire to her curtains, a court has heard.

Father-of-two Darrel John Smith, 35, was caught talking about the crime on a police listening device planted in his Housing Tasmania flat, the Supreme Court in Hobart was told today.

The brickie's labourer pleaded guilty to arson, attempted arson and breaching a restraining order.

Crown Prosecutor Heather Mannering said Smith had several disputes with his neighbour before she took out a restraining order against him in September 2011.

On November 25 that year, the woman was subjected to a barrage of abuse from people attending a barbecue at Smith's home unit.

A window of her home was smashed and one of the partygoers assaulted her. Police were called and the party was moved to outside Smith's unit.

About 11.30pm that night, Smith threw a Molotov cocktail through the woman's bedroom window but it failed to ignite.

The woman and her adult daughter, who were inside at the time, were evacuated by police.

At 3am, Smith returned and set fire to curtains in the unit with a cigarette lighter.

It was razed by fire, with damage estimated at $137,000, and the woman lost all of her belongings.

The court heard $64,800 damage was caused to an adjoining unit.

Defence lawyer Amber Mignot said her client was a drug user and sometimes found it difficult to make good decisions.

"He doesn't seek to excuse his conduct and accepts it was entirely inappropriate," she said.

"It's something he very much regrets. He said the main reason was to scare her not to return to the address, to get her out of the neighbourhood, not to cause her any injury."

Justice Shan Tennent will sentence Smith next Thursday.


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