A local man's foiled plot to take out his frustrations with his ex-employer by setting fire to structures and equipment at the construction site for the new Prince George RCMP detachment has been sentenced to one year house arrest and two years probation.
Randy Roy Wanotch, 25, was issued the term in Prince George provincial court on Tuesday for an alcohol-fueled plan that, if not for a passerby's quick action, could have erupted into a "very dangerous situation," the court was told.
Wanotch was arrested in the early morning hour of Nov. 5, 2011, roughly a day after a nine-day stint with Maple Reinders, the main contractor for the project at Fourth and Victoria, came to an end with his dismissal.
"There was some dispute as to why that was," said Crown prosecutor Marie Louise Ahrens. "His boss says he wasn't listening to instructions, Mr. Wanotch feels it was due to the fact that he had to take a day off to make a court appearance."
Either way, an unhappy Wanotch went out, got drunk and decided to get some revenge.
At about 4:20 a.m., RCMP received a call from a witness who saw a man dressed entirely in black scale the fence at the site. Police attended and arrested Wanotch after a foot chase.
They also found a large amount of diesel poured under a portable building that housed Maple Reinder's site headquarters and pooled around other structures and various pieces of heavy equipment on the site.
"No fire ensued but of course, the site had to be cleaned up," Ahrens said.
According to a pre-sentence report, Wanotch has a problem with alcohol but Ahrens and defence lawyer Fred Fatt were at odds over how that aspect should be addressed. While Ahrens argued that residential treatment should one of the conditions in his sentence, Fatt said Wanotch would lose the job he currently holds down if imposed.
Fatt also suggested Wanotch would willingly attended group counselling during the term of his house arrest because it would allow him to get out of his home during the term of his sentence for something other than going to work. Wanotch also gets three hours outside his home each week for shopping and medical appointments.
In passing sentence, Judge Dan Weatherly agreed with Fatt's position but also warned Wanotch that if he breaches any of the conditions, he will spend the rest of the year in jail. Other conditions include not coming any closer than 50 metres of a Maple Reinders worksite, except when Wanotch must go to the TD bank at Fourth and Victoria.
During the same hearing, Wanotch was also sentenced to a day in jail for breaching a term of his recognizance on Feb. 28, 2012, a day after he had been released from custody on charges from the previous incident, for buying a case of beer from a local beer and wine store.