'I was out of my mind': Kitchener woman apologizes for setting fires at local Walmart

A Kitchener woman has been sentenced to eight months of a conditional sentence for lighting a fire at a Walmart store in September.

The decision was handed down Thursday morning.

On Wednesday during the sentence hearing, the woman broke down in tears from the prisoner’s box.

"I don’t recognize my actions," she told the courtroom. "I was out of my mind and I wasn’t myself."

The woman apologized for her actions and said she was embarrassed.

She pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of arson

The incident happened the evening of September 9th at the Kitchener Walmart in the Sunrise Centre.

Court saw surveillance video Wednesday that showed a woman setting fire to toilet paper. In the video, a woman is seen dousing the flames with hand sanitizer before walking away. The video then shows a man running towards the flames with a fire extinguisher and putting it out within minutes.

"It could’ve been a lot more serious if the fire had caught more than it did," said Hal Mattson, the woman’s defence lawyer. "It was not much of a fire fortunately, but it could’ve been bad," he said.

No one was injured in the incident. At the time, police said another fire in a garbage bin outside that first alerted them to the area.

Mattson says his client has mental health issues and was drunk at the time of the incident.

"She had no understanding of how sick she was," he said.

Court heard she’s been on medication since being in custody.

"She got on some anti-psychotic medication and I believe she’s thinking clearly now," said Mattson.

“I don't think it should be a jail sentence," said Mattson. "If the judge thinks it's a jail sentence then it should be house arrest or a conditional sentence."

The woman’s family was also in court on Wednesday. Her brother told court that her bizarre behaviour started in July 2021, only weeks before the fire at Walmart.

Thursday morning a judge ordered the woman to two years probation after her sentence. She was also told that she will be required to take medication as prescribed and recommended by her doctor.