A Dardanup woman has avoided jail after setting fire to part of her long-time neighbour’s backyard in a “very unusual scenario”. Wendy May Bottomley, 69, was placed on a 12-month community-based order with supervision and program requirements after pleading guilty to criminal damage by fire, in Bunbury District Court on Monday. The court was told Bottomley and her long-term neighbour, 80, were normally on good terms, when the neighbour asked her to take out her rubbish bin in June 2020 while she was away. On June 10, 2020, Bottomley was captured on the side access door camera at 4.18pm where she deliberately moved the CCTV camera at her neighbour’s property. Later that evening between 6.30pm and 7.13pm, she was captured by the same camera walking into the rear yard, first holding an item that reflected light, followed by footage of her holding another item that resembled an adjustable flame gas stove kitchen lighter. The court was told Bottomley stayed in the rear yard for several minutes on each occasion and deliberately lit a chair that was outside the laundry room door, as well as a shade cloth that was on top of the neighbour’s greenhouse. Bottomley was later seen on CCTV that evening stealing the side access door CCTV camera before returning it damaged the following morning. After police later executed a search of Bottomley’s home and found several items that were seen on the CCTV footage, Bottomley admitted in an interview it was her in the footage but could not recall lighting the fires. In submissions, Bottomley’s lawyer Paul Chapman told the court what occurred was “bewildering” to Bottomley and she was “very upset” that she offended her friend and damaged her property. The court was also told Bottomley had been diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder in 2005 and a psychological report indicated she coped by drinking alcohol. Bottomley was ordered to pay $500 in compensation to her neighbour.