Investigators comb through debris at Cedar Memorial Gardens after a fire Feb. 15, 2016. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo judge won’t let arsonist have a cigarette lighter

Martin Arthur Taylor previously pleaded guilty to February 2016 arson incident in Nanaimo

A man who pleaded guilty to arson in 2016 saw his request to regain use of a lighter denied by a Nanaimo provincial court judge Friday, Nov. 24.

Martin Arthur Taylor, 54 at the time of the incident, was arrested and subsequently charged in relation to a number of suspicious fires in the Cedar area in February 2016, including at Cedar Memorial Gardens and the Ivy Green Husky gas station in Ladysmith.

He pleaded guilty to mischief over $5,000 and possession of stolen property and was sentenced in June 2016 to jail time equalling 365 days, three year’s probation and restitution payment.

A condition of Taylor’s sentence is that he is forbidden to be in possession of accelerants (matches, lighters etc.).

He was in court Friday, Nov. 24, hoping to amend the conditions. He told Judge Ronald Lamperson he has smoked on and off, relying on others for a light. Lamperson said he wouldn’t grant the request given the nature of the charge and suggested Taylor continue asking others to assist him in lighting cigarettes.

Lamperson did amend a separate condition – Taylor had been forbidden to be behind the wheel of a vehicle, but the judge decided that Taylor should be allowed to drive a work vehicle. Taylor is currently in Burnaby, employed as a concrete cutter, and said he must drive the company vehicle to job sites at times. He will now be allowed to drive provided he carry a note of written permission from the registered owner.

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