A TAMWORTH businessman will spend at least 18 months behind bars after he was jailed for torching his home in an elaborate insurance fraud.
Paul Anthony Bolger walked into a Sydney court on Thursday afternoon but was led out in handcuffs and a prison van, taken to a Sydney jail to spend his first night in custody.
Bolger was sentenced to a head sentence of three years with a minimum of a year-and-a-half in jail after he was convicted of fraud, following an arson attack on his North Tamworth home in 2013.
After a mammoth trial in Sydney, Bolger was found guilty by a jury in March of the charge, as well as one count of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception for the associated insurance claim.
Despite an eight-week trial, it took the jury just a day to find Bolger guilty.
The key part of the Crown’s case against Bolger was his own security surveillance footage.
The jury was shown CCTV images which showed Bolger squarely inside the house and the room where the fire ignited before the flames erupted and engulfed the house.
Dozens of witnesses from Tamworth, including police, firefighters and other experts were flown to Sydney to give evidence in the trial, which began in the Downing Centre District Court in late-January.
Despite the guilty verdicts last month, and an unsuccessful bid by the Crown to have Bolger taken into custody, Bolger has been on bail since his arrest in 2013.
The jury cleared Bolger of three other charges, including a second fire at the same property on April 2 which ultimately destroyed the house.
Bolger will be first eligible for parole in October, 2019.