Arsonist hands himself in

23:29, Jun 13 2014

An 18-year-old handed himself in to police after setting fires around New Plymouth's central city and smashing windows following a night on the booze.

After one arson, where he set fire to a $600 scooter parked in Centre City, he headed to his accommodation at a backpackers in Ariki St and watched as firefighters doused the blaze.

The scooter was destroyed.

In the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday Samuel Lewis Pepperell-Carr admitted charges of arson and two of wilful damage.

He gave no explanation to police why he did it.

On Monday May 26 he was drinking at Crowded House.

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After leaving, he first lit a fire in two plastic rubbish bins at Centre City using his lighter. He then set alight to cardboard left in a skip bin in the Centre City loading bay.

The motor scooter was his next target where he set fire to the rear plastic bumper and watched as it took hold.

He ran up to Robe St and when he saw a light on in a house threw a stone at a window, smashing it.

He ran through the grounds of the Taranaki Cathedral and then smashed a large window at the New Plymouth District Council.

He then ran back to the backpackers and watched through the lounge window as the fire service appliances arrived and doused the burning scooter.

Three days later, on May 29, he handed himself in to police and admitted what he had done.

His lawyer Paul Keegan described his client as "clearly having issues". He had been living with his grandmother but would shift to Whakatane this week to live with his mother.

Judge Allan Roberts remanded Pepperell-Carr on a 24-hour curfew and ordered he not consume alcohol or non-prescription drugs. A pre-sentence report is to be prepared before sentencing on July 4.

Taranaki Daily News