The teenager who tried to set fire to a Featherston petrol station has been given a chance to prove himself before sentencing.

James Bryce Murphy, 18, pleaded guilty in January to attempted arson, burglary and unlawfully being in an enclosed yard, after setting fire on January 9 to newspapers on the Adamsons' Service Station forecourt. The papers had been arranged in a line leading to a petrol bowser, but the fire was seen and extinguished by the Featherston Community Patrol.

On Thursday, Judge Barbara Morris sentenced Murphy to four months' community detention and nine months' supervision - on the burglary and enclosed yard charges - but remanded him until July 7 on the most serious charge of attempted arson.

Judge Morris said she suspected the fire, if it had reached the bowsers, "would have resulted in a huge explosion", but asked the prosecution for more information on this.


The judge asked defence lawyer Susie Barnes for sentencing submissions on other cases of attempted arson, saying imprisonment was an appropriate sentence.

Judge Morris urged Murphy to comply with the terms of his supervision, and he remains on bail with a condition not to consume alcohol.