Arson charge stayed in deliberately set fire in Glenmore

Charge stayed in arson

A Kelowna man has been sentenced to several months in jail for a number of offences earlier this year, but a charge of arson related to a deliberately set fire in Glenmore was stayed.

The fire happened the day after a human-caused fire near the base of Dilworth Mountain, during a wind storm in late August and at the same time as fire crews were trying to save homes from the Mount Law wildfire in Glenrosa and the White Rock Lake wildfire near the north end of Westside Road.

Police arrested Thomas Ross Alexander Dean, 32, just after 9:30 p.m., Aug. 16, 2021, in the 1900 block of Kane Road, after witnesses reported a man attempting to light bushes on fire in a commercial area.

Luckily, the fire did not take off and there was no damage to the buildings.

Thomas was charged with one count of arson damaging property, but the charge was stayed Monday, after he pleaded guilty to several other offences, unrelated to the arson.

He was sentenced to 320 days on three counts of committing an indecent act and one count of break and enter and theft. With credit given for time served, he will have 216 days remaining in his sentence. He’s currently in custody on previous convictions.

The three indecent acts all happened in April of this year. He was arrested after masturbating in public on April 9, 2021 in an alley and in back yards near Speer Street and Birch Ave., behind Parkinson Recreation Centre on April 20, 2021, and near Rowcliffe Park on April 27, 2021.

The break and enter took place at Orchard Park shopping centre on Nov. 9, 2020. Thomas entered the mall through a door briefly left open by a security guard at around 2 a.m. and proceeded to wander through the hall, stealing food and a tip jar from businesses including Blenz Coffee, Cinzzeo and New York Fries.

Thomas has a lengthy criminal record, including 20 for property crimes, four for failing to comply with release conditions and 8 involving violence, including assault.

In handing down the sentence the judge noted the indecent acts all happened within the same month and the fact Thomas masturbated in public parks raises concerns about public safety.

The conditions of his probation include a ban on attending any parks, schools or recreation centres, as well as an order prohibiting him from attending the streets where the first incident took place. He must also stay away from the victims who reported the crimes to the police.

His lawyer, Michael Stephenson noted his client has suffered depression, and his life deteriorated to the point he ended up living on the street after the death of his father from suicide in 2012.

When asked if he wanted to address the court, Dean said he just wants to get on a positive path.

More Kelowna News