Teenager smirks outside court as he’s fined just $500 for starting a fire during Australia’s catastrophic bushfire season
- Fadi Zraika set off the fireworks at a park in western Sydney on December 22
- The court was told he was the main breadwinner of the family and fined $500
- Zraika made headlines in 2020 for laughing outside court and filming reporters
A teenager who set off illegal fireworks in a park which started a blaze that came close to homes during Australia’s devastating bushfire season has been fined $500.
Fadi Zraika, one of two 18-year-old men who who set off the fireworks at Bright Park, Guildford, western Sydney, on December 22, smirked outside Parramatta Local Court and mocked reporters after being fined on Wednesday.
The fireworks started a fire that came dangerously close to homes and the NSW Rural Fire Service were forced to take resources away from other fires to put it out.
Fadi Zraika (pictured) was one of two 18-year-old men who who set off the fireworks at Bright Park, Guildord, western Sydney, on December 22
The fireworks started a fire that came dangerously close to homes and the NSW Rural Fire Service were forced to take resources away from other fires to put it out (Bright Park pictured)
Police alleged Zraika and his distant relative Abraham Zreika’s actions lit the fire after Zrieka used a cigarette lighter to light the fireworks that triggered grassfires.
Zraika’s lawyer told the court his client was the main breadwinner in his household, Parramatta Advertiser reported.
‘He doesn’t need the book thrown at him. He’s an offender that’s before the court has learned a lesson,’ he said.
‘Unfortunately it’s a young man of our community that didn’t take heed of what was going on.’
The prosecution pushed for a conviction as Zraika’s actions happened when the country was gripped by devastating fires.
The magistrate thanked the RFS for their actions.
Zraika made headlines earlier this year for laughing outside of court and filming reporters
‘The air was filled with smoke, there was a large loss of property, huge areas burnt out, and deaths,’ Magistrate Tim Keady told the court, Nine News reported.
‘Throwing fireworks into a park was bound to cause a problem. It would have been obvious.’
He told Zraika he was old enough to function as an adult and convicted him, and fined him $500.
Zraika’s co-accused was fined $1,500 and convicted of negligently handling explosives to cause property damage, having a knife in a public place, and not disclosing his identity.
Australia’s bushfire season devastated the country from September 2019 to early 2020 (pictured, fire in Bilpin)