An ongoing dispute between neighbours that had a fiery culmination has resulted in a $2000 fine for a Manjimup man. Benjamin Walter Wolfs appeared in Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour in public and criminal damage or destruction of property. Wolfs was initially due to face a two-day trial but changed his plea to substituted charges after negotiations between prosecution and defence resolved the issue. The court was told Wolfs was at his Reeve Street home in Manjimup during the early hours of April 5 last year when a man, who lived diagonally across from Wolfs’ address, entered the backyard and urinated there. After witnessing the man on his property, a verbal confrontation ensued between the pair. The court was also told the pair had several confrontations with each other prior to the incident. As the man walked back to his home, Wolfs obtained a jerry can that was full of petrol, poured the petrol on the road in between the two properties and ignited it. The flames were said to have reached up to 2m in height and another neighbour intervened by pouring a bucket of water on to the fire, extinguishing it as police were called. Wolfs was then arrested and taken to Manjimup police station and placed into a holding cell, where he used what was believed to be a broken edge from his glasses to carve words into the cell wall and door. In a police interview, Wolfs described igniting the fire as a “warning shot” to his neighbour and claimed the neighbour had also thrown gravel at his property and car. Police prosecutor Sergeant Jane Gillham said the disorderly behaviour by Wolfs was an “extraordinary situation” and it was “lucky” that there was minimal damage to property and no harm to Wolfs or other people as a result of the blaze. “I haven’t come across a disorderly (behaviour) of this magnitude in my time as a police officer,” she said. Wolfs’ defence counsel Michael Devlin submitted his client did not respond to the confrontation in an appropriate way and Wolfs himself told the court he was “angry with himself” at how he acted. It was also submitted that the two men no longer lived near each other since the incident. In sentencing, Magistrate Linda Keane remarked that lighting an uncontrolled fire always has a level of risk of property damage and harm to others in a residential area. “It is extraordinary a neighbourly dispute results in you pouring petrol on a road,” she said. “People have concerns about fires, full stop, and this was a very serious example. “I’m sure (to) people in other neighbouring properties, seeing fire in the middle of the night would have been a very upsetting and concerning thing to see.” Along with the $2000 fine, Wolfs was ordered to pay court costs.