A Dubbo dad determined to rid his neighbourhood of drug users has been found guilty of destroying property, after he set fire to a garage squatters were living in.
Mark Cecil Morley, of Trelanvean Street, pleaded guilty to damaging his neighbour's ceiling when he appeared in Dubbo Local Court on Wednesday.
At 7.49pm on Australia Day, police said Morley had a container in his hands when he entered a garage at the rear of 26 Baird Street — a property without a house on it that is near Morley's home.
Shortly after he entered the shed, Morley was spotted coming out of the garage without the container.
He then walked back to his house before he re-entered the garage.
"One minute later [Morley] exited the shed and stood out the front," police said in a court document.
Within a minute fire engulfed the garage.
Police said Morley grabbed a hose from the garden and tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the blaze.
It spread to a neighbour's house and the owner of that property also got a garden hose out to extinguish the fire.
A NSW Fire and Rescue crew attended the scene to extinguish the blaze, which caused parts of Morley's neighbours ceiling to fall down.
Police said the next day, a detection dog identified accelerant had been used.
Morley was arrested on January 29 and police said he admitted to deliberately dousing a mattress in petrol.
Police said Morley confessed to also using grass and a lighter to set the garage on fire.
Morley wanted to prevent squatters and other criminal elements from inhabiting his neighbourhood, police said.
In court, Morley's legal representative said syringes were found in the street.
"While his intentions were good, his preparation was terrible," the legal representative said.
Magistrate Gary Wilson said those intentions were contrary to the law.
He placed Morley on a community corrections order for 18 months that requires him to be of good behaviour.