A former young pastor has been jailed after setting fire to the grounds of Hillsong Church in western Sydney and scribbling obscene graffiti about Megachurch founder Brian Houston.
Stephen Anthony Luke, 47, was found guilty of five days in a row, including $1.3 million in damages to the Lismore Catholic Church, in a Mid-North Coast court in New South Wales. I know my destiny.
His rampage began on September 14, 2020, when he approached a 20-year-old woman in a Sydney car park, pulled out a 30cm knife and stole a Volkswagen Polo, phone, credit card and $375. rice field.
He also attempted to rob two young women at Hornsby Station, but they refused to go to the ATM to withdraw money, even though they pulled knives.
Coffs Harbor District Court said he set fire to the grounds of Hillsong Church in Norwest, northwest Sydney, on 16 September.
Using pink spray paint, Luke’s ex-wife’s current husband graffitied a church with the message “Suck Brian’s c*** like a prison” with a message referring to the church’s founder, Brian Houston. scribbled on the side of
A fire was then lit in the yard next to Mr. Houston’s parking space using an accelerator, but the fire was hosed out and did not spread.
Altogether, he caused $3,000 worth of damage in what Judge Jonathon Priestley described as “a rather unsuccessful attempt to damage property by fire.”
The court heard Luke set more fires at Houston’s home, but no charges were filed in the incident.
Two days later he arrived in Lismore and set fire to the Catholic Church of St. Carthage using debris stuck under the door.
He destroyed books, photographs, and silverware, causing over $1.3 million in damage.
“The fire engulfed the cathedral’s large north door and attempts to extinguish it caused smoke and water damage to the bishop’s sacristy and the altar of the Sacred Heart,” said Priestley.
In a Facebook post, he admitted to setting fire to Lismore Cathedral, Hillsong Church and Mr. Houston’s home.
He also referred to conspiracy theories about “Big Pharma” and the government.
“In another Facebook post, Judge Priestley said he had nothing to lose and all to gain to live in Christ and die in a hail of police bullets.
He was arrested in Lismore on September 19 during a violent clash with police.
When stopped by the police, he pulled out a large silver hunting knife and told the officers, “Shoot me.”
When ordered to put down the knife, he made a motion to slash the officer before being pepper sprayed and tased.
He later told officers he had not been on medication for six months due to mental health problems and had no affiliation with Hillsong Church.
His attorney previously told the court that the incident was a “wake-up call” and that he would be on medication for the rest of his life.
The court heard that at the time he “felt compelled to follow the voice in his head” and believed it was “part of God’s plan and part of his mission as a soldier.” rice field.
He also described his crime as “horrific” and the court heard he had planned to buy a car but blew $900 on Porky.
According to a forensic psychiatrist’s report, he suffered from schizoaffective disorder, and after he stopped taking the drug, he experienced violations over a period of five days during his period of mental illness.
He pleaded guilty to a series of offenses, including two counts of willfully damaging property by fire and armed robbery.
Judge Priestley reduced his sentence by 25% in light of his early guilty plea.
He was sentenced to seven years in prison and three and a half years without parole.
He will be eligible for release in March 2024 once his sentence expires.
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/arsonist-who-scrawled-lewd-message-about-brian-houston-jailed-over-13m-fire-c-8199526 Arsonist who scribbled obscene messages about Brian Houston jailed in $1.3 million fire