Darryl White jailed for lighting fire at back of Orange office

Orange Court House.
Orange Court House.

A man who absconded from a group home, where he was under constant supervision, and caused $4200 damage when he set fire to the back of a Summer Street business, was sentenced to jail on Friday.

Darryl White, 32, appeared in Orange Local Court via audio visual link from Junee correctional facility and was given a two-year jail sentence with a six-month non-parole period.

The sentence was back-dated to July 4, 2018, and he could be released into supervised parole on January 3, 2019. 

According to police facts, White fled his home on April 6 at 11.30pm and police were notified and searched the surrounding area but could not find him.

MAP: Summer Street East where the fire occurred

Police said he first appeared on CCTV footage near the East Orange Post Office at 5.55am on April 7.

Just before 6am he knocked on the door of a Summer Street house in East Orange and asked for the time, the resident told him he didn’t know the time and watched White walk away from his property.

About 6.15am he entered the yard of another Summer Street property and found a half-full four-litre bottle of mineral turpentine in an outdoor toilet. 

According to police he poured the remaining two litres on a one metre high pile of flattened boxes that were at one end of an office building.

He set the cardboard on fire and left the property, heading west along Summer Street.

About 6.20am a female jogger saw the smoke and told staff at Bills Beans Cafe and an employee used the cafe’s fire extinguisher in an attempt to put out the fire until Fire and Rescue NSW arrived and completely extinguished the fire.

Firefighters also forced their way into the office building, setting off the security alarm, to make sure the fire had not spread, which it hadn’t. He was located by police in Robertson Park at 7pm that evening.

White’s solicitor Matthew Tedeschi said his client, who has been in custody since July 4, had intellectual disabilities and will require supervised accommodation when he is released from custody.

Magistrate David Day said White had previous criminal convictions for arson and the potential for danger, if he was not supervised, was extreme.

“Punishment is of little importance to someone like Mr White,” Mr Day said.

He said he found special circumstances due to White’s intellectual difficulties but there was also need for community protection. 

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