Arson with Damage to Property

Arson with Damage to Property

The offence of arson – damage to property is outlined in section 434 of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of arson – damage to property when they intentionally or recklessly cause damage by fire or explosion to property that they do not own, in whole or in part.

Examples

Person A intentionally sets person B’s car on fire after person A finds out that person B has been sleeping with person A’s girlfriend.

While doing methamphetamine in an vacant apartment that he broke into, person D causes a fire that damages the unit.

Cases

R. v. Redsky, 2015 ONCJ 42

In R. v. Redsky, the accused was convicted of one count of arson – damage to property when she set her trailer on fire after arguing with her partner to destroy the home and the belongings her partner had left in the home.

R. v. Nicholas, 2020 ONSC 1701

In R. v. Nicholas, the accused was convicted of two counts of arson – damage to property when, on the same day, he set the house he had been living in and the house he was moving into on fire because of disagreements he had with the landlords of both houses.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Own Property

Where the person damages property that they own, they have not completed the offence of arson – damage to property. They have, however, completed the offence of arson – own property.

Accident

Where the person accidentally causes damage by fire or explosion to property without being reckless as to whether this accident could occur, they may not have completed the offence of arson – damage to property.

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