It is still not known why a man set fire to two homes and tried to burn down another in Bendigo last year.
Dwayne Dover, 37, had schizophrenia and was in a serious psychotic state on July 3 last year when he set the 150-year-old heritage miner's cottage he lived in with his uncle alight, and went on to set more fires that same day.
This week, he was sentenced in the County Court to two years and three months' imprisonment, as well as a three-year community corrections order, after pleading guilty to two counts of arson and one of attempted arson.
Dover set fire to the West Bendigo cottage he shared with his uncle about 6am on July 3.
His uncle woke up and made it out with smoke inhalation, but his beloved cat Holly was killed in the blaze and he lost all his possessions.
Dover's grandmother, in a victim impact statement, also told the court it was the home where she and her husband had raised their children.
Later that morning, Dover opened the bedroom window of a unit in King Street and set fire to the curtains.
The blaze caused significant damage to the unit.
The resident was at home at the time, but escaped with smoke inhalation.
Dover tried also to set fire to a house in Wills Street, lighting three fires around and under the building.
In this week's sentencing hearing, Judge Amanda Fox noted that Dover was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his 20s and had stopped taking his medication prior to the fires.
Dover told a forensic psychiatrist he believed he was in a Truman Show-style set-up at the time, but he could not remember the offending.
Judge Fox said Dover's moral culpability for his crimes was reduced, because there was a direct link between them and his illness.
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She said his mental illness would also make prison harder for him than a person of regular mental health.
Judge Fox regarded Dover's prospects of rehabilitation as good, if he took his medication, abstained from cannabis and found stable accommodation.
She said the offending was not premeditated or motivated by anger or greed, and noted Dover had expressed regret for his actions.
When Dover undertakes the community corrections order following his release from prison, he must undertake drug, mental health and offender behaviour programs as directed.
He had already spent 260 days in custody at the time of sentencing.
Had he not pleaded guilty and been found so, Judge Fox said he would have been sentenced to six years and three months' imprisonment, with a non-parole period of three years and nine months.
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