A Bunbury man has been jailed for burning down his then-partner’s rental home in “an act of spite” and later trying to convince her to get her mother to drop her witness statement. Alby Robert Wright, 24, was sentenced to 31/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal damage by fire and attempting to pervert the course of justice in the Bunbury District Court on August 9. The court was told Wright set fire to the rear yard of his then-partner’s rental home just hours after he had an altercation with her in the reception of the Admiral Hotel on October 3, 2019. The blaze caused $100,000 worth of damage and the property was eventually demolished. Wright was arrested and taken into custody a fortnight later where he remained in contact with his then-partner via prison phone calls and face-to-face visits. During their numerous conversations, Wright used threatening and intimidating language to get her to convince her mother to drop a police witness statement she made in relation to the fire, claiming it contained false information that would affect his chances of getting bail. Wright’s defence lawyer Paul Chapman told the court Wright suffered mental health issues, stemming from a dysfunctional early childhood. District Court Judge Troy Sweeney described Wright as a “highly volatile individual who at times has little control over himself but wants to exert control over others”. “There is no excuse for what you did and of course your ex-partner didn’t own the house that you burnt down, somebody else did,” she said. “Somebody who hadn’t done a thing wrong to you, but you didn’t think about that because this arson was in reality a childish uncontrolled temper tantrum, with no thought for anybody else. “In terms of the facts of the attempt to pervert the course of justice, it was simply part of your unwillingness to accept responsibility for your own decisions.” The sentence was backdated to October 2019 and Wright has been made eligible for parole.