Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jealousy cited in rooming-house arson

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INFURIATED at learning the father of her soon-to-be-born infant was cheating, a Winnipeg woman responded to his infidelity by trying to burn down the North End rooming house where he lived.

Now, Louise Blyth, 29, is facing a possible five years in prison for her violent actions, which also endangered the lives of six other people who lived at the Magnus Avenue home on the night of Aug. 5, 2012.

"Jealousy or not, this is no reason to set a house on fire," Crown attorney Bruce Sychuk told provincial court Judge Robin Finlayson Monday.

Blyth previously pleaded guilty to a count of arson endangering life.

At the outset of Monday's sentencing hearing, the Crown stayed an attempted-murder charge after concluding Blyth's intoxication on prescription medications impaired her state of mind to the point the offence couldn't be proven.

Hours before she drove over to her boyfriend's home with a jerry can filled with gasoline, a seven-months-pregnant Blyth learned through Facebook of her boyfriend's infidelity, court heard.

She approached his home, hurled a brick through a front window that was metres from where someone was sleeping, doused the area with gas and lit it, Sychuk said. She then moved to another entranceway and set another fire there.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2013 A4

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