Milner Graham Andrew Monks lit seven separate fires at Bool Lagoon with a cigarette lighter. (Pexels: Miriam Espacio)
A Victorian man has been sentenced to three years’ and seven months’ in jail for lighting a bushfire in South Australia’s South East.
The court heard 31-year-old Milner Graham Andrew Monks, from St Leonards, lit seven different areas at Bool Lagoon, near Naracoorte, in April 2018.
The fires burnt through multiple paddocks and caused $9,000 damage to fencing.
In sentencing, Judge Peter Brebner noted Monks said he was running away from people who abducted him and lit the fires as a distraction to them, but conceded that was a hallucination.
Judge Brebner said while Monks’ judgment was compromised at the time by drugs, there was no suggestion he did not know that what he was doing was wrong.
The court heard Monks lit the fires around 8:00am on a Sunday morning with a cigarette lighter.
Monks has spent previous time in jail and Judge Brebner said his relapse meant he had little confidence Monks could rehabilitate himself.
Bool Lagoon is one of the largest freshwater lagoon systems in southern Australia and is known for being a wildlife haven. (ABC: Kate Hill)
Monks received a non-parole period of two years and five months.
When the judge handed down his decision and asked the guard to remove Monks, three supporters in the court room voiced their support, one saying “We love you”.