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Adelaide man burned down ex-lover’s travel agency

January 29, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A jilted lover who burned his ex-girlfriend’s travel agency to the ground will be sentenced tomorrow in Adelaide’s District Court for what the travel agent calls a “devilish, wicked, evil act” that destroyed her livelihood.

A mysterious fire gutted Rosalie Stott’s Inflight Travel business in the inner southern Adelaide suburb of Parkside in the early hours of 27 September 2017.

The blaze didn’t remain mysterious for long. Stott’s former partner, Samuel Patton, 58, was filmed on CCTV, arrested later the same day and charged over the attack. Patton, who had broken up with Stott four months before the fire, initially denied involvement but later pleaded guilty to arson, for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment, ABC News reported.

As well as wiping out the travel agency, the blaze severely damaged an adjacent chiropractor and an office of the courier and freight delivery company Pack and Send.

Stott and Patton in happier times

Patton is due to be sentenced tomorrow (Tuesday 30 January 2018).

The fire deprived Stott’s travel agency of about AUD 2 million in gross turnover, the court heard. The attack also caused AUD 85,000 of damage to the chiropractic clinic and AUD 120,000 damage to the Pack and Send.

Stott read a victim impact statement at a pre-sentencing hearing in Adelaide’s District Court last week. The ABC reported she yelled at Patton, who was sitting in the dock:

“What you have done to me is the most devilish, wicked, evil act.

“It’s only a coward who would strike at night thinking no-one would see you and you thought you would get away with it.

“How could a person, you, be so callous to destroy me, not only financially, but personally and humiliate me publicly?” she asked Patton.

Stott told the court: “I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into my profession and my business and Mr Patton’s reprehensible, despicable, unjustifiable, premeditated behaviour has destroyed my livelihood.”

She said she had been happy and passionate about her career but now felt “sad, heartbroken, ripped and torn apart”.

From the dock, Patton read an apology for the “grief I’ve caused”, mentioning that he was now taking anti-psychotic medication. His lawyer, Craig Caldicott, said his client had been drinking on the night of the arson attack. Patton has been in custody ever since.

The case has attracted much attention in South Australia. The ABC News account of court proceedings can be read here.

Nine News carried a report on the case, which includes footage of firefighters battling the blaze and CCTV images of Patton. It can be viewed here.

Written by Peter Needham




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