Judge rejects Sunshine Faith Love's arson defence

A JUDGE has rejected an arsonist's claims that rape, child abuse and serious disease preceded moves to set fire to her and her former husband's home.

Sunshine Faith Love spoke softly from her wheelchair in Brisbane District Court on Wednesday and made allegations about her health and her checkered past.

She claimed her calls for help to escape her violent, abusive husband fell on deaf ears.

The 57-year-old told the court, where she was jailed for four years for arson, that she felt safer in prison because of what her husband had done to her.

"I feel safer in there after being raped by my ex-husband, his threats to kill me...he told me he would not give up until I was dead," she said.

"I complained and I pleaded for help for so long."

Love, who had been married four times, also claimed she had been diagnosed with a type of neuron disease and had been starved of natural medicines, such as olive extract, in jail.

Crown Prosecutor David Finch said Love did not make any mention to psychiatrists and psychologists in jail about the doctors who she alleged diagnosed her.

Judge Michael Noud said Love provided conflicting evidence about how the fire at the Macginley Rd home started on April 23, 2010.

Love claimed she had lit a candle because there was no electricity in the house but police discovered she set a pile of papers on fire to engulf the house.

"You are unreliable and can be untruthful," Judge Noud said.

"I don't think I would be properly discharging my duties if I was not to look at what you have said with a degree of scepticism.

"I have sympathy for you all the less because you so suffer from certain conditions."

The court heard a Federal Magistrate had appointed a trustee to sell the Caboolture home before the blaze.

Judge Noud said Love told a friend on the day of the fire: "I'll burn this f***king place down to the ground before this f**king c*** gets his hand on anything."

Judge Noud sentenced Love to four years in jail to be suspended after 20 months.

Topics:  arson court

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