De­lay in sen­tenc­ing for Cobb & Co ar­son­ist

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Tara Shaskey

A man spot­ted flee­ing a burn­ing res­tau­rant af­ter caus­ing the fire has a fam­ily back­ground re­lat­ing to ar­son, a court heard.

Po­lice and fire­fight­ers were called to New Ply­mouth’s Cobb & Co Res­tau­rant just be­fore 11.30pm on June 11 af­ter the build­ing was bro­ken into and a fire was lit in­side.

The fire didn’t dam­age the kitchen or res­tau­rant, but it re­mained closed for a num­ber of days.

A 29-year-old man pleaded guilty to the crime at an ear­lier court ap­pear­ance.

The de­fen­dant, who has been granted in­terim name sup­pres­sion, also pleaded guilty to a charge of bur­glary and one of us­ing a bank card for pe­cu­niary ad­van­tage.

Yes­ter­day, he reap­peared for sen­tenc­ing but de­fence lawyer Me­gan Boyd asked the mat­ter be ad­journed for the pur­pose of a psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment of the de­fen­dant.

She or­dered a re­port un­der the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure (Men­tally Im­paired Per­sons) Act 2003 to de­ter­mine an ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tence for her client.

‘‘There’s a fam­ily back­ground re­lat­ing also to ar­son,’’ Boyd said.

‘‘I think if a psy­cho­log­i­cal re­port was pre­pared it would as­sist the court in un­der­stand­ing why [the de­fen­dant] has of­fended.’’

Judge Chris Sy­grove re­manded the de­fen­dant into cus­tody to reap­pear on Novem­ber 20 for sen­tenc­ing.

The mat­ter was re­ferred for a restora­tive jus­tice con­fer­ence.

The fire didn’t dam­age the kitchen or res­tau­rant, but the res­tau­rant re­mained closed for a num­ber of days.

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