Esquimalt arsonist Wei 'George' Li sentenced to 2 years in federal prison
Accused arsonist Wei Li (right) with his lawyer Rolfe Horne on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (CTV Vancouver Island)
VANCOUVER -- An Esquimalt homeowner convicted of setting fire to his own rental home after a dispute with his tenant learned his sentence Friday.
Wei "George" Li was sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to provide DNA for authorities to keep on file. He was charged with one count of arson for the October 2017 fire at a duplex he owned in the 300 block of Uganda Avenue.
No one was home at the time of the fire, which left the building uninhabitable.
Li was arrested at Victoria International Airport shortly after the blaze, as he was trying to board a flight to Ottawa.
At the start of his trial in October 2019, airport workers testified about their interactions with Li that day. He was suffering from significant burns on his hands, neck and face as he tried to board the plane, according to a security screener, who told the court she had offered him a cold pack and some skin cream to help with the pain.
The airport workers described Li as "scattered" and said he appeared to be in shock as a result of his injuries. They said he indicated that he had not called 911 or told anyone about the fire.
Airport authorities called police to ensure that the fire had been reported, and Li was later arrested at the airport.
Li's trial was held at B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria before judge Robin Baird.