Father jailed for blaze at child agency

A father-of-two angered by rules around visiting his children tried to burn down the child agency supervising his access, a court heard.

Tristan Larry Ian McNabb of Mangamutu dropped from the crutches he was leaning on in the dock, crying, swearing and stating "I was supposed to be going home today" as Judge Arthur Tompkins sentenced him to three years' imprisonment.

Court staff then had to escort the 36-year-old from the dock as he continued to rant at the judge looking for an explanation.

His mother also had to be removed from court as she stated her son had been treated badly.

McNabb had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of male assaults female, two of arson and four of breaching a protection order.

On July 12 last year McNabb set fire to the front door of the Open Home Foundation in Lincoln Rd, damaging the front door of the agency, which supervised his access to his two children, following a relationship breakdown.

The front door was extensively damaged along with toys and other property inside.

Two months later, McNabb returned to the property and set fire to cars outside, extensively damaging them -- in total causing $28,000 damage in both arsons.

In November, McNabb breached a protection twice, threatening his partner and then punching her in the face so hard he knocked out two of her teeth.

Then while in custody, he breached the protection order writing to his children and partner pleading with her to help keep him out of jail.

Crown prosecutor Ian Miller said staff at the centre were concerned about the fires.

"There was a real fear as to what was going to happen next ... was it going to escalate," he said.

Defence lawyer Peter Stevens said McNabb wasn't himself at the time and was dealing with the relationship breakdown by drinking.

"He was at a very low ebb."

"Given the danger" McNabb posed to his former partner, home detention wasn't an option, Judge Tompkins said.

The fires were premeditated, he added. He also had to consider the "physical safety" of the victim and her children.

"He has shown the protection order means very little to him," the judge added.

- by Cherie Taylor of the Wairarapa Times-Age

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