Mississauga News

Kids injured Arson lands mother in jail

The Mississauga News
Jan 15, 2003

A woman has been sent to jail for a year for deliberately setting a fire last January that gutted her apartment and injured her two youngest children.

Valora Hart, 38, who also has a 10-year-old daughter, was ordered not to have any access to her children, who have since recovered from their injuries, unless her visits are supervised by the Children's Aid Society. Crying, Hart told a Brampton court yesterday she didn't intentionally burn her apartment and that she didn't try to kill her children.

Although sympathetic to the woman's emotional and mental state, Mr. Justice Joseph De Filippis said he had "no choice" but to send her to jail because she was a "continuing danger" to the public because of her refusal to get help for her drug and alcohol problems. He also sentenced her to 36 months probation after her jail term.

Hart twice walked out of treatment programs since getting bail in February, 2002.

Angry with her husband and high on cocaine, the woman set fire to his clothes at about 2:30 a.m. and then ran outside their first-floor apartment on Argyle Rd. last Jan. 7, leaving her two youngest children, aged 5 and 6, asleep in their bedroom. Her daughter, then 9, managed to escape and was unharmed.

Crown prosecutor Mara Bossa told the judge yesterday the children still suffer emotional scars.

Hart was initially charged with two counts of arson with disregard for human life causing bodily harm and one count of arson with disregard for human life.

She pleaded guilty last February to arson with disregard for human life and was ordered to undergo a six-month drug and alcohol treatment program.