40-year-old Airdrie resident Shaun Lee Sandbach who pled guilty to one count of arson on March 7 of this year, was sentenced on Thursday morning at the Court of Queen's Bench in Calgary.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Michele Hollins sentenced Sandbach to a two-year, plus one-day incarceration in a federal penitentiary, a sentence that the crown prosecution petitioned for. 

"Crown Counsel has appropriately emphasized the degree of planning that was involved in both of the fires Mr. Sandbach set and, frankly, his willingness to put his neighbour's; both their property and their personal safety at risk," she said. 

Sandbach, who was present in court, was given the opportunity to speak by Justice Hollins before her sentencing decision.

"I'm... I'm just sorry," he told the court. 

Prior to Justice Hollins oral sentencing decision, the crown prosecution said that the agreed statement of facts demonstrated a calculated plan to set both fires.

"The motive is unclear. There's nothing to indicate why this happened, or why it happened twice. What is clear, however, though, was that he [Mr. Sandbach] lost his house. The insurance company paid to rebuild it, but they stopped paying and they didn't cover the second fire they sued him civilly and they have a civil judgment for the value of the house."

According to a previously agreed statement of facts provided by the Court of Queen's Bench, Sandbach, who pled guilty to arson — damage to property had been caught on CCTV camera footage at a local Home Depot, purchasing items that were later identified in the course of a fire investigation to be responsible for the fire that was set on December 31. One day before the fire, Sandbach purchased linseed oil, boxes of rags, and an orange Home Depot pail. 

According to fire investigators linseed oil, when dried, can create heat when combined with rags in a confined area, "spontaneous combustion can be readily anticipated." Given that both fires were located in similar, but separate areas and had similar characteristics, it was the opinion of fire investigators that the fires were intentionally set. Sandbach initially claimed he had been a victim of arson, though he did later admit to being responsible for the April 13, 2016 fire as well as the subsequent December 31, 2016 fire. 

"The Airdrie Fire Investigator confirmed that the source of the first fire, under the basement stairs, were two cardboard boxes placed under the staircases and which contained burnt rags. They also located a Home Depotpail in which an empty 11 bottle of linseed oil and which also contained cedar shims."

Since Sandbach had not been in custody prior to his sentencing, he will not get credit for time served. Justice Hollins said she did not intend to impose a fine on Sandbach, considering the civil suit against him. 

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