Arson and Related Charges – Community Corrections Order

This is a case study on fire-related offences involving an accused with mental health problems. The case resulted in a treatment-only Community Correction Order.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with attending at a person’s private property in the country and lighting a fire either intentionally or recklessly. It was a day of total fire ban. The fire burned an area of land of approximately 80 acres. Once smoke was seen, police and the fire brigade were called. Several ground crew and two fire fighting aircraft were required to extinguish the blaze.

The client was still on the property when emergency services arrived. Police assessed the client as suffering from mental health problems and was conveyed to the nearest hospital to treat his burns and mental health. He was remanded in custody. He is a person with dated but significant criminal history for which he has received terms of imprisonment.

What happened at court?
Kristina Kothrakis represented our client at the Melbourne County Court as he faced charges of:

  • Recklessly Cause Wildfire Causing Damage
  • Arson
  • Light a Fire on a Total Fire Ban Day
The most critical aspect in this case was our client’s mental health problems. His mental health issues had been a feature of his life and intertwined with his prior offending since the 1980’s.

Given the seriousness of the charges, and the fact that the prosecution was arguing in favour of our client serving an additional immediate term of imprisonment, it was important to properly outline the history of his issues and the effect that a recent hospital admission had on his behaviour. Kristina was able to achieve this through obtaining reports from both his treating medical practitioner and psychologist, a forensic psychologist, and also through a careful analysis of his medical records obtained through Freedom of Information.

What was the result?
The Judge was ultimately persuaded that his mental health problems significantly effected his behaviour and agreed to not require him to serve an additional term of imprisonment. The matter was instead dealt with by way of treatment only Community Corrections Order.

Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

View Kristina Kothrakis’ profile.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 25/02/2013