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Man who started fire in cell jailed for four months

Hamilton Police Station (file photograph)

A man who set his shirt on fire inside Hamilton Police Station was sentenced to four months behind bars.

Ezra Ararat, 37, from Pembroke, pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court on Friday to causing the fire and damaging a cell.

On February 10, Ararat was taken to the station for a different matter and was searched by officers who did not find a lighter he had.

Once inside the cell, Ararat removed his shirt and set it on fire, setting the fire alarm off. Police extinguished the flame and seized the lighter.

Prosecutor Yanique Gardener Brown said that a four-month sentence would be appropriate for both the fire and damage to the cell.

Sara Tucker, Ararat’s lawyer, said no one was hurt during the incident, that her client started the fire to get officers’ attention and that he did not expect the flames to spread so quickly.

She requested a conditional discharge.

Ararat has been behind bars since April for another case, but senior magistrate Maxanne Anderson ordered that his four-month sentence for these offences began on Friday.

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