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Judge tells arsonist he ‘must suffer the full weight of the consequences’

Calvin Trott (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)

A 51-year-old man who was paid to carry out an arson attack that caused almost $20,000 of damage has been jailed for two years.

Calvin Trott was also sentenced to three years probation after his release, during which time his behaviour will be monitored, the Supreme Court heard on Friday.

Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams acknowledged during her ruling that the incident was fuelled by Trott’s drug and alcohol problems – but added that he had refused to seek help and “must suffer the full weight of the consequences”.

She added: “A clear message of deterrence must be sent to all potential offenders who seek to use alcoholism or drug abuses as a crutch or excuse for their criminal behaviour.

“Where an accused person fails or refuses to seek professional guidance in treating his addictions, he must be called upon to answer to the full consequences of that inaction.”

Trott, from Smith’s, pleaded guilty in March to arson and wilful damage after setting fire to a car that later spread to a garage on February 28, 2020.

The damage, which included the destruction of a $10,000 jacuzzi and six mountain bikes, all of which were in the garage, totalled $19,300.

Mrs Justice Subair Williams earlier heard the victim impact statement of Philando Hill, the owner of the house, which detailed the “emotional and financial damages” he faced from the incident.

She also noted Trott’s “significant criminal history of violent offences”, which included 11 convictions, his most recent in 2000 when he was convicted of burglary and sexual assault.

Cindy Clarke, the Director of Public Prosecutions, had earlier called for two to four years’ imprisonment for arson and six months behind bars for wilful damage.

Mrs Justice Subair Williams acknowledged that Trott had conspired with another who was not before the court. She said the offences were on the higher end of seriousness and that Trott would have faced six years imprisonment if the case had gone to trial.

But she added that he fell within the remits of a policy for a reduced sentence of up to 23 per cent that was introduced earlier this year.

The summary of evidence said that Mr Hill had left his home to take his son to school when he received a call that one of his cars, parked in his yard, was on fire.

Home security cameras showed a man entering the property carrying a red gas container in a bag and throwing a burning mass of paper on to the car just before 1pm.

He was later identified as Calvin Trott, who was arrested and interviewed.

Trott said that he had been paid to carry out the arson attack and told officers: “I don’t know his name, but someone from his neighbourhood came up and showed me where his house is and gave me a couple hundred dollars, bought the gas for me, and I did it.”

Mrs Justice Subair Williams said that Trott’s probation would require him to stay away from drugs and alcohol and not commit any further offences.

He would also have to attend court whenever required and must alert his probation officer to any changes in his living address.