(DISTRICT OF NEWCASTLE, NSW.) Court Report: Firefighter who hatched a plan to start The Hunter Bushfires in 2017 so he could fight them” will serve more time in jail than the man who lit them — his y ounger brother #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Sept.19: A firefighter and his brother have been jailed over four deliberately-lit bushfires that swept through parts of the New South Wales Hunter region in 2017: Retained Fire and Rescue worker Joshua Lambkin, 31, was handed a five-year sentence in the District Court of Newcastle, while his 26-year-old brother Craig Lambkin, who lit the fires, was sentenced to three-and-a-half-years……………………In the District Court of Newcastle, Judge Tim Gartelmann noted that text messages between the brothers showed they had purposefully picked days when the mercury soared above 40 degrees……………….”The degree of recklessness was very high,” Judge Gartelmann said…………………”Joshua Lambkin had a high degree of culpability in being a retained firefighter for encouraging Craig Lambkin to light fires, and would have appreciated the grave risk for many in community in doing that.”………………………..The fires, three of which were lit on January 18, with the fourth lit on January 24, forced the evacuation of homes, the local hospital, and a packed aquatic centre.

A mugshot-style photograph of a balding man in his thirties, dressed in a fire-and-rescue shirt.Photo: The court heard former Fire and Rescue NSW fire fighter Joshua Lambkin urged his brother to light the fires. (Supplied: Facebook)

Key points:

  • A firefighter who encouraged his younger brother to light bushfires in NSW has been jailed for five years
  • His brother received a lesser sentence after admitting his guilt early and cooperating with police
  • The fires threatened homes, a hospital, and an aquatic centre in the Hunter Valley, leading to mass evacuations

Firefighters near a burning house.Photo: Houses like this property, photographed on December 18, 2017, caught alight and were damaged, but firefighters prevented any from being destroyed. (Supplied: MJF Productions Australia)

During the sentencing, the judge rejected evidence from the prosecution that Joshua Lambkin, employed on an on-call basis, wanted extra work so that he could get paid more: Although Judge Gartelmann acknowledged that there was evidence that Joshua Lambkin was assigned to the fires and did receive payment, he was more swayed by the reasoning that Lambkin had hatched the plan simply because he “wanted to fight [the fires]”.

A NSW firefighter who hatched a plan to start bushfires “so he could fight them” will serve more time in jail than the man who lit them — his younger brother.

#AceNewsDesk reports ……………….Published: September 19, 2019 at 11:37AM: By Giselle and Dom Vukovic

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