Natalie Jane Nystrom, 25, pleaded guilty to burning her rented house down in Tara in 2019.
Natalie Jane Nystrom, 25, pleaded guilty to burning her rented house down in Tara in 2019.

“Putrid”: Mum affected by ice when she burned house down

A MOTHER of four is behind bars after pleading guilty to burning down her uninsured rental house after the landlord, a former mate, told her to leave.

Ipswich District Court on Thursday heard that as the house burned, Natalie Nystrom rang police to tell them what she had done and to come and get her.

Nystrom said her use of the "putrid" drug ice was to blame for her decisions at the time.

Since abstaining from drug use, she has gained about 60kg in weight.

Natalie Jane Nystrom, 25, pleaded guilty to committing arson at Tara by wilfully and unlawfully setting fire to a house at Naughtin St on February 7, 2019.

Crown prosecutor Reimen Hii said the house and land had been valued at $165,000, and the owner was not insured.

The Commonwealth Bank, which financed the purchase, received $320,665 in its insurance claim. It also cost the bank $11,945 to clean up the debris.

Mr Hii said Nystrom rented the house but there was no formal lease arrangement in place, as she was friends with the owner.

Four days before the fire the owner asked her to tidy up the house as he intended to rent it out on a more formal basis.

The court heard Nystrom told him she would get all her belongings and move out.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said it appeared from medical documents before the court that there had been some history between her and the landlord.

Mr Hii said Nystrom set fire to clothes on the lounge and in a bedroom about 6am.

A neighbour saw the flames coming from the house and called firefighters, but the house was fully engulfed by the time they arrived.

Mr Hii said a Tara police officer received a phone call at 6.45am from Nystrom saying: "I'm at my mum's house. You might as well come and get me as I've burnt the house down".

The court heard Nystrom later told police: "I hated the house. Ever since I moved in things have been f**cked."

"I did it. Lit clothes on fire in the lounge room and bedroom."

Nystrom was arrested, spending 35 days in jail before the Supreme Court granted bail on March 13, 2019.

Defence barrister Scott Lynch said a medical report shows Nystrom was taking drugs at the time.

"She was 50kg at the time. She is now 110kg," Mr Lynch said.

"She has put on more than 50kg by not using methamphetamine.

"She calls it a putrid drug."

He told the court that she had good support and indicated the six people in the courtroom who had travelled from Tara to Ipswich for her sentence.

"It is unfortunate that in her time of desperation (when arrested) that she instructed her lawyers to seek bail. The price she now pays for it," Mr Lynch said.

Judge Horneman-Wren said he noted Nystrom's co-operation with police, and her efforts to stay off drugs.

Nystrom was convicted and sentenced to a three-year jail term, to be granted parole on June 26 next year.

She tearfully embraced her family from the dock before being led away.

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