A Culloden man who set fire to his local pub’s new minibus was jailed for six months at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday.
Sheriff Margaret Neilson told Karl Bruce, 28, that there could have been far more serious consequences to his actions.
She said: “The whole hotel could have gone up. The bus was parked close to it.
“This is so serious I have no other option but to impose a custodial sentence.”
Bruce, of Asher Place, Culloden, appeared before her last month for trial but pleaded guilty just before it was due to begin.
He admitted a charge of wilful fire raising at the Smithton Hotel on October 18, 2015, and completely destroying the vehicle.
Fiscal depute Ross Carvel said there were several witnesses who saw him go into the bus through a window and set fire to one of the seats with a lighter.
He then climbed out.
A nearby police car attended the scene and Bruce was caught shortly afterwards, Mr Carvel went on.
He added: “When he was searched, a lighter was found.”
Sentence had been deferred from the previous hearing for a background report.
Defence lawyer Rory Gowans said: “The mini-bus was new with a 15 plate and was worth thousands of pounds. My client has been putting money away towards some kind of compensation.
“He can remember nothing about this incident. He had consumed a lot of alcohol which is no excuse. He didn’t know what he was doing or why.
“He has now stopped drinking and was shocked at the amount of damage that was caused.”