Maryborough Court House.Photo: Valerie Horton/ Fraser Coast Chronicle.
Maryborough Court House.Photo: Valerie Horton/ Fraser Coast Chronicle.

Guilty conscience leads arsonist to confess 20 years later

A GUILTY conscience led a man to confess to burning down a building almost 20 years ago.

Shaun William Dennison was 23 when he set fire to a building in Beenleigh in 2001.

Now 42, Dennison pleaded guilty in Maryborough District Court to one count of arson.

The court heard Dennison used a lighter to start the fire at the Freemasons Hall.

But the police ruled the fire as being non-suspicious at the time.

Dennison came forward and confessed to the crime because it was weighing on his conscience, the court was told.

"It's a most unusual case," Judge David Reid said.

The court heard Dennison had spent 18 days in pre-sentence custody after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, wholly suspended with an operational period of two and a half years.

The 18 days pre-sentence custody was declared as time served.

Dennison was immediately released on parole.