(CMR) Rupert Junior Spence (35), the man who torched a derelict car and set fire to the RCIPS Business Center located at Windjammer Plaza on Walkers Road in 2020, has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.
He was also sentenced to one year and four-and-a-half months for several counts of driving while disqualified. This will run concurrent to the arson conviction, and time already served in custody will be deducted from his sentence.
Spence will be banned from driving for five years upon release from prison.
Spence, who was found guilty of two counts of arson, and one count of driving while disqualified, pleaded guilty to an additional five counts of driving while disqualified.
He was reportedly recorded on CCTV in August 2020 purchasing gas from a service station before driving across to a poorly lit parking lot. Moments later, a vehicle was seen engulfed in flames.
In the second incident, where several police offices, which included the RICPS Professional Standards Unit, Criminal Records Office and the Firearms Licensing Unit, were set ablaze, Spence was not seen at the location. However, he was tied to the site by DNA.
Additionally, he lived close by and was seen shortly after the fire, undressed and sweating. He was also seen on CCTV footage apparently celebrating as the fire service drove to and from the scene of the fire.
Fire officers concluded that the fire was not an accident as gas was thrown on furniture and other areas to help spread the blaze. Damages were estimated to cost $158,389. The fire resulted in extensive smoke and water damage to the premises; as a result, the police offices on location were closed for months.
Justice Cheryll Richards sentenced Spence to six-and-a-half years in prison for the fire at the police offices and one month for the derelict car.
She considered his 65 previous convictions starting in 2002, including assault and possession of a firearm. Justice Richards said she also considered his mental health, but a psychiatric report indicated he understood the gravity of his actions.
Spence had 20 traffic convictions, three of which were for driving while disqualified, and was one year into a three-year disqualification sentence when he was arrested on a new offense driving while disqualified.