Setting house on fire twice results in 2-year sentence for Airdrie man

·1 min read
Shaun Sandbach admitted he set fire to his Airdrie home twice in 2016. He has pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to two years plus a day.  (Court exhibit - image credit)
Shaun Sandbach admitted he set fire to his Airdrie home twice in 2016. He has pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to two years plus a day. (Court exhibit - image credit)

An Airdrie man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in a federal penitentiary after admitting to twice intentionally setting his house on fire in 2016.

Shaun Sandbach, 40, pleaded guilty to arson in March and was sentenced in a Court of Queen's Bench courtroom Thursday. The sentence was a joint submission from the Crown and the defence.

Sandbach's guilty plea was considered a mitigating factor, the court heard, as it demonstrated his willingness to take responsibility.

His potential for rehabilitation was also a factor, said Justice Michele Hollins. Sandbach has a supportive family, was gainfully employed in the past and hopes to be again.

The court also heard that Sandbach suffers from seizures and is taking methadone to treat an addiction to painkillers he developed after a past hernia surgery.

"I want to encourage you to work hard at maintaining your sobriety," said Hollins, who noted this should be easy to do in prison, in theory, but is not always in practice.

"It will give you a head start on your release."

Fires set in April, December 2016

Court exhibit
Court exhibit

The two fires were set April 13 and Dec. 31, 2016. After the first fire, Sandbach initiated an insurance claim and contractors worked through the year to rebuild.

They were nearly done repairs when a neighbour called 911 on New Year's Eve to report Sandbach's house was on fire again.

In March, Sandbach admitted he was the one who set the fires.

Asked to address the courtroom Thursday, Sandbach briefly expressed regret for his actions.

Hollins wished Sandbach good luck in the future, which he thanked her for.

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