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Second teen charged over Victoria Hotel blaze

Headshot of Elise Van Aken
Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
The historic Victoria Hotel on fire in the early hours of Friday, February 19 2021.
Camera IconThe historic Victoria Hotel on fire in the early hours of Friday, February 19 2021. Credit: Supplied

A second teenager has been charged over the fire that destroyed the old Victoria Hotel earlier this year.

Yesterday Geraldton detectives charged an 18-year-old man from Spalding, who was 17 years old at the time of the offence, with aggravated burglary and breach of duty.

He has been scheduled to appear in Geraldton Children’s Court on August 31.

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Another 18-year-old man was charged with the same offences in relation to the blaze last month. He was also 17 years old at the time.

He appeared in Geraldton Children’s Court on July 27 when his lawyers told the court they would ask for the matter to be dismissed without conviction under Section 19B of the Crimes Act, which allows a court to dismiss a charge if an offender agrees to follow court-imposed conditions for up to three years.

He is next due in court on September 14.

Police alleged the first teenager charged entered the building late at night on February 17, saying once the boy was inside the fire started and he allegedly fled from the scene.

The fire tore through the historic building for 10 hours before it was extinguished.

It sustained about $500,000 of damage and was demolished soon after as a safety hazard.

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