Windsor man found guilty of arson after downtown restaurant fire
Published Thursday, August 9, 2018 4:10PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 10, 2018 8:37AM EDT
A Windsor man has been found guilty of arson for a fire last year at a former downtown restaurant.
Patrick Warren, 38, was convicted Thursday for a fire at the former Pour House on Chatham St. West in February 2017.
Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set in a small garbage shed behind.
The blaze caused $75,000 damage and no one was hurt. But assistant crown attorney Brian Mannarin successfully argued the inherent risk of starting a fire, and the dangers posed to firefighters, made this a serious offence.
In February, Justice Greg Verbeem ruled arson in this case is a serious personal injury offence, marking the first time a provincial judge has ever ruled in that manner.
It means the accused could be declared a dangerous offender and face a much stronger sentence.
Mannarin tells CTV News he will seek a dangerous offender status for Warren.
Court heard Warren has been found guilty of five other arson related charges, showing a pattern of repetitive behaviour.
Justice Verbeem expressed concern saying Warren "poses a high level of attractability to that type of conduct" and his inability to keep himself from committing this type of crime in the future "may endanger human life by acts of arson."
Crown attorneys can seek the designation during sentencing and must show that there is a high risk that the criminal will re-offend.
Beginning September 17, Warren will undergo a forensic assessment in Toronto. A formal hearing, involving the attorney general will follow.
Once a decision on the designation has been made, the judge will determine what sentence to impose.
According to Public Safety Canada, if a person is declared a dangerous offender, they could be jailed indefinitely.