Man jailed for church break-in, arson

Man jailed for church break-in, arson

An intellectually impaired man who broke into a church in Manuka and started a fire at the Woden bus interchange has been sentenced to three years jail.

Kurt John Drayton, 32, sat with his head in his hands as he was sentenced on a string of burglary and theft charges, and for arson and various other offences.

Drayton, who worked as a strapper in the horse industry, broke into Saint Paul's Anglican Church in Manuka sometime between January 31 and February 3 this year.

The break-in caused considerable damage to the door of the church, and set off a security alarm.

Supreme Court Justice John Burns described the building as a "vulnerable place", which was often left unattended, particularly at night.

Drayton was also sentenced for damaging property and starting a fire near the toilet bloc k of the Woden bus interchange in June last year.


He lit a fire in a garbage bin in the entrance to the toilets, causing extensive damage, including the collapse of the roof.

Police found Drayton lying asleep under a blanket at a nearby platform soon after the fire.

He confessed to lighting the fire during a police interview a short time later, and said he had fought with his girlfriend and "just lost it", court documents show.

Justice Burns sentenced Drayton to three years jail for the church burglary, the bus interchange arson, and a range of other offences.

The court heard that the 32-year-old was intellectually impaired, which reduced his moral culpability for the crimes to some degree.

But Justice Burns said his cognitive limitations - including a year 3 literacy level - did not excuse or explain his actions.

Drayton also had an "extensive" criminal history that stretched back to 1998, and had started using heroin at the age of 17, the court heard.

He will be eligible for parole in March 2015.

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