Corey Deveraux and Ricky Mackay sentenced for Eaglehawk arson attacks

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UPDATE 1pm: The lead investigator who worked to arrest Corey Deveraux and Ricky Mackay for their arson spree says the sentence is a welcome reward for the hard work of police.

Deveraux was sentenced to five years jail with a three-year non-parole period, while Mackay was sentenced to five years and three months jail, with three years’ non-parole.

Detective Senior Constable Erin Ross said the fires had impacted a lot of people in the community.

“It’s a good result for us, we put in a lot of hard yards for this case,” she said.

“The victims, what they’ve lost, some of it can’t be replaced. Like for the baseball club, some of that memorabilia - you can put money on clothing and equipment - but the actual items they lost in the fires, you can’t put a price on that.

“It was over 30 years of memorabilia they lost.

“At Future Employment Opportunities – they lost a lot as well, they lost their portables. They give people the opportunity to develop their future and their skills

“The High Street book shop, the victim’s husband owned that building and he passed away, and that’s what she had to remember him by.

“To have a phone call from police to say that everything in the store has been damaged by smoke, that was devastating for her.”

Detective Senior Constable Ross thanked the support of her joint-lead investigator, Detective Senior Constable Debbie Graham.

UPDATE 12.30pm:  A County Court judge says while no lives were lost during a spate of fires between January and February this year, the community lost valuable education, community and sporting facilities.

Detective Senior Constable Erin Ross speaks about the arson investigation. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Detective Senior Constable Erin Ross speaks about the arson investigation. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Judge Jane Campton said firefighters suffered through sleepless nights and exhaustion during that time.

She said the two men’s pleas of guilty, their expressions of remorse, lack of prior convictions and their status and youthful offenders were considered during sentencing.

“Even allowing for all mitigating factors, it presented a difficult sentencing exercise,” Judge Campton said.

“While no lives were lose, the community lost valuable educational assets and sports facilities that enriched lives.

“All of the firefighters had to suffer the danger, stress and exhaustion through the fires that you thoughtlessly lit.

“The protection of the community is an important consideration.”

Mackay and Deveraux were sentenced as serious arson offenders – a label they will carry for life.

EARLIER: Two men guilty of lighting 19 fires throughout Eaglehawk in January and February causing more than $800,000 damage have been sent to jail.

Corey Deveraux, 23, and Ricky Mackay, 22, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of arson, one count of perverting the course of justice and summary offences for lighting fires during a fire danger period.

Deveraux was sentenced to five years’ jail with a three-year non-parole period. 

Mackay was sentenced to five years and three months’ jail, with a non-parole period of three years.

Both men have already served 236 days.

THE FIRES

January 20: fire burns 25 square metres of bushland at 2.55am on Kangaroo Gully Road, Kangaroo Flat.

January 22: a small fire burns 20 square metres of scrub at 5am on Diamond Hill Road, Kangaroo Flat.

January 26: a fire is lit in bins at the Eaglehawk Railway Station at 9.40pm.

January 27: three grass fires are lit a the Eaglehawk Railway Station at 1.20am. The first is on the Hall Street side, the second near Panton Street and the third is along a fence line.

January 31: a small fire on Bendigo-Pyramid Hill Road, Woodvale, burns about three square metres.

January 31: fire burns 13 square metres on Whipstick Road, near Lightning Hill, at 12.30am.

February 2: fire burns part of a portable building at Future Employment Opportunities in Eaglehawk at 2.50am.

February 4: baseball club rooms at Albert Roy Reserve are burnt at 4am.

February 6: fire burns 18 square metres at an old gold mine site on Caldwells Road in Eaglehawk at 6.40am.

February 6: a fire is lit in a shipping container at Albert Roy Reserve at 6.50am.

February 6: fire damages a portable building at Future Employment Opportunities at 7.15am.

February 8: the FEO portable building is completely gutted by fire at 2.25am.

February 9: carpet and timber off cuts are set alight at St Liborius Catholic Primary School at 7.20am.

February 14: a fire is lit at the rear of the Eaglehawk Rotary Book Shop at 2.20am.

February 19: recycling bins at the Stewart Cowen Rehabilitation Centre are set alight at 6.30am.

February 20: the score room at Canterbury Park is gutted by fire at 4am.

February 20: bins are set alight behind Tristar Medical Group in Eaglehawk at 4.20am.

February 21: fires are lit in bins at the Stewart Cowen Rehabilitation Centre, just before the men's arrest.