Serial arsonist in Vernon sentenced to 3 years

Click to play video: 'Vernon man sentenced for series of arsons' Vernon man sentenced for series of arsons
Vernon man sentenced for series of arsons – Jan 25, 2019

William Munton will be spending nearly three years behind bars for starting a string of arsons that gripped Vernon in 2014.

Crown and defence lawyers made a joint submission for 36 months. The judge agreed with the sentence.

Court heard that Munton, 57, and a 17-year-old boy started a series of blazes between June and October 2014.

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The Crown characterized the pair as having an uncle-nephew relationship, although they weren’t related by blood.

The blaze that burned Vernon’s Kin Racetrack grandstand to the ground was one of the most devastating fires the two set.

The Crown said Munton and the youth had checked out the grounds earlier in the day before returning in the evening with zipfire starter cubes and a litre of gasoline.

Court heard the youth sparked the blaze before casually walking back to Munton in his vehicle parked across the street.

READ MORE: UPDATE: RCMP weigh in on massive fire at Vernon race track

The Crown said the pair then drove up Turtle Mountain, where they watched the fire ignite.

The City of Vernon received $800,000 in insurance compensation following the grandstand fire.

Other targets included buildings under construction, a boat, a motorhome, a minivan and a large fruit box fire that caused an estimated $100,000 in damages.

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READ MORE: ‘It is nice to have a little bit of closure’: arson charges a relief in Vernon

Munton had several supporters who gave him a hug before heading upstairs to watch the proceedings from the gallery.

Munton spent about a month in custody when he was first arrested. With credit for time served, he still faces more than 34 months in prison.

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WATCH BELOW: A look back at some of the arson fires that plagued Vernon in 2014.

READ MORE: Vernon racetrack fire was arson

The former school teacher was arrested in June of 2016 after a two-year police investigation.

— with files from Megan Turcato


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