An Adelaide man who threw a Molotov cocktail at a hotel bar and was linked to the crime by a petrol-soaked sock has been jailed for at least 18 months.
- Russell Weribone hurled the explosive at a staff member at the Crown Inn at Old Reynella
- A police search of his home found a sock matching the one which had been used in the Molotov cocktail
- Another sock was recovered from a separate arson attack on a speed camera also committed by Weribone
Russell Terrance Weribone, 40, pleaded guilty to attempted arson and an aggravated count of acting likely to cause harm.
The District Court heard in late 2018 he was barred from the Crown Inn at Old Reynella in Adelaide’s south.
Six weeks later he returned armed with a Molotov cocktail that he lit and hurled at a staff member who was standing behind the bar.
Fortunately, the flame went out before the explosive hit a shelf behind the bar.
Weribone was chased by a security guard but managed to get away.
Judge Geraldine Davison said hotel staff named Weribone as a suspect and when police attended his home they found a sock matching the one which had been used in the Molotov cocktail.
“Police again returned to your address and found several burnt drink cans, burnt cloth and a white Bonds anklet sock,” she said.
Judge Davison said it was “the same” as the one that had been found at the scene.
“The area had the distinct smell of petrol,” she added.
It was the second arson attack in less than a month which had been linked to Weribone because of a matching sock.
Last November, he set fire to a speed camera at the intersection of Anzac Highway and Greenhill Road in Wayville using a sock doused in accelerant, and later pleaded guilty.
During his first court appearance, prosecutors told the court Weribone was arrested nearby with a sock matching the one found at he scene.
On Tuesday, Judge Davison said Weribone had a lengthy list of prior offences and that his actions called for a term of imprisonment.
“The ramifications of your actions could have caused much greater harm than they did,” she said.
“You acted in a way that created a significant risk to other people and of course to property.
“It’s very fortuitous that no physical harm was suffered by people at the premises.”
She sentenced Weribone to two years and eight months in prison with a non-parole period of 18 months.
His sentence was backdated to when he was taken into custody, making him eligible for parole in June 2020.