Okanagan woman, 61, pleads guilty in series of arsons

Okanagan woman, 61, pleads guilty in series of arsons

March 2018 incidents saw several North Okanagan properties targeted

Nearly a year after several Armstrong properties were targeted by an alleged arsonist, an Armstrong woman pleaded guilty on Monday.

Colette Leneveu, 61, faced numerous charges of arson after six suspicious fires were reported between March 8-12, 2018, in the Armstrong area — all of which were on Warner Avenue and Okanagan Street, with varying levels of damage.

Defence lawyer Glenn Verdurmen told the Vernon courthouse Jan. 6 Leneveu had good mental health and additional psychiatric reports were not necessary ahead of sentencing.

The charges, which said she intentionally or recklessly caused damage to property by fire or explosion, were read to Leneveu by the court clerk in Vernon Supreme Court.

Leneveu, who was 60 at the time, said she understood the charges and voluntarily pleaded guilty to four counts of arson.

The counts Leneveu addressed were amended to remove information indicating the properties were inhabited or occupied.

According to earlier reports, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to suspicious fires in the Armstrong area on March 12 and found a set of tires had been lit on fire near a garage at one home and a back deck of another down the street. Both fires were extinguished before extensive damage was done.

While officers responded to those two calls, they learned another alleged arson occurred in the 2200 block of Okanagan Street where the suspect attempted to light two cars on fire before fleeing the area.

No injuries were reported as a result of any of the fires between the dates in question.

The specifics of the incidents that took place in March 2018 were not discussed in court Monday.

Leneveu will face sentencing at a later date.

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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