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Arsonist gets jail time

The man who torched the Westbank Lions Hall has been handed significant jail time for his crime.

Kerry Robert Cooper was sentenced to 39 months in prison and ordered to pay $5,500 in restitution.

Cooper, 30, pled guilty to arson and damaging property for setting the Sept 1, 2013 fire that caused more than $1M damage to the decades old hall.

He was arrested May 9, on May 22 he pleaded guilty.

Along with the prison sentence, Cooper was also placed on 10 years probation and is prohibited from owning firearms for the same length of time.

He was also ordered to pay $2,000 to Amanda Nevdoff, the bride whose wedding reception was scheduled for the hall that day, $2,500 to the Red Cross which had an equipment loan operation in the hall and $1,000 to the Lions.

Cooper has spent the better part of the last 10 years on probation and has spent more than five months in jail for various offences dating back to 2003.

On April 1 of this year Cooper was placed on probation for Uttering Threats in November of last year.

Construction continues to rebuild the burned down portion of the hall.

The Lions Club is also in the midst of a fundraising campaign to make other improvements not covered by insurance.

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