R v Falwasser [2021] NZDC 10953

Published 16 June 2022

Sentencing — no guiding tariff — arson — Zhang v R [2019] MZCA 507 — Erickson v R [2012] NZCA 449. The defendant had pleaded guilty on a charge of arson, and appeared for sentence. She had burned down the home of an elderly family member (the victim), having used petrol as an accelerant. She also set a second fire in a nearby shed, causing minor damage. The offending was aggravated by use of accelerant, premeditation, causing significant damage and major impact on the victim. A pre-sentence report recommended a community-based sentence, citing the defendant's limited history of offending and the steps she had taken since the offended to take control of her mental health problems; the Court identified further mitigating circumstances of remorse, acceptance of responsibility and guilty plea. From a start point of two years nine months' imprisonment, the final sentence was 11 months' home detention with conditions. Judgment Date: 2 June 2021.