Convicted Guelph arsonist appears in court
GUELPH -- A Guelph man who was found guilty of five counts of arson was in court on Thursday.
Justin Beal will find out how much time he'll face behind bars near the end of March.
The judge reserved handing down his decision until March 27.
On Thursday, the Crown and defence outlined what sentence they'd like to see for Beal.
The Crown is asking for two years plus a day, plus three years' probation.
Beal's lawyer is asking for 18 months.
The man was arrested in 2017 in connection with more than 20 suspicious fires in Guelph and Wellington County that happened between September 2016 and October 2017.
Beal pleaded no contest to five counts of arson and was found guilty by a judge.
An agreed statement of facts said that Beal started the fires because of a fire fetish and as a way to relieve stress, using a lit cigarette while he was inside the buildings to start the fires.
He turned himself in to police in 2017, saying he didn't want to put any more firefighters in harm's way or take up resources.
His lawyer argued that he lit these fires in abandoned buildings, and no person or animal was injured. But the Crown says the fires had a significant impact on the community.
His next appearance is scheduled for March 27, which is when he's expected to be sentenced.