Teenager to pay $10,000 for his role in torching church

| March 9, 2010

A teenager involved in the arson of a historic Palmerston North church has been ordered to pay $10,000 in damages.

Lachlan William Holdem, 19, was sentenced in Palmerston North District Court yesterday for his part in the fire that destroyed the 130-year-old All Saints Church on October 16, 2007.

Judge Les Atkins sentenced Holdem to 10 months' home detention and ordered him to pay $10,000 reparation on charges of burglary and arson.

Three other youths, who were 16 at the time, were charged with arson and dealt with in the Youth Court.

Judge Atkins said those teenagers were sentenced to community work and $600 reparation each. Their names were suppressed.

The fire caused $1.35 million of damage.

In his sentencing, Judge Atkins said Holdem was not responsible for lighting the fire but did nothing to stop it.

Three of the four youths broke into the Friendship Centre behind the Church St property as one kept a lookout. The trio took a microwave and the group went back to Holdem's flat about 500m away.

During the next four hours, the group returned on several occasions, taking clothing, bedding, electrical appliances, artwork and a fire extinguisher.

They returned again about 4.30am after some of the teenagers became worried about forensic evidence being left behind. They used methylated spirits to start the fire.





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Category: Church Security

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