Man convicted of trying to set sleeping neighbours on fire
An Edmonton man has been convicted of dousing his neighbours with gasoline and lighting a propane torch.
Gordon Govenlock was found guilty of attempted arson, breaking and entering to commit a crime and throwing gasoline with the intent of harming Derek Burrell and Catherine Burke.
In announcing his decision, the judge said that Govenlock “clearly intended to light or threaten to light the gasoline on fire.”
The incident occurred on May 11, 2013 at a townhouse complex in north Edmonton while the couple’s twin baby daughters were sleeping in the next room.
Burrell and Burke said they awoke to see Govenlock standing over their bed holding a pop bottle filled with gasoline.
Govenlock dropped the bottle and lit the propane torch. Burke dialed 911. Govenlock ran off when Burke said that police were on the way.
Govenlock denies he was ever in the home, sprayed the couple with gasoline or had a torch in their bedroom.
The judge didn’t believe that testimony and found that Govenlock felt “aggrieved” at how he had been treated by Burrell, particularly in how he borrowed his tools.
The court was told that the Govenlock and Burrell had been drinking in the hours before the incident.
At Burke’s request, Burrell told Govenlock to stay away from the house because Burke was offended by a comment that he had made.
Govenlock will be sentenced on Nov. 3.