A NSW court has sentenced a former youth minister to seven years in jail following a Hillsong arson attack, crude graffiti about Brian Houston, and other crimes. Stephen Luke’s 5-day crime spree also resulted in $1.3 million worth of damage to a Lismore Church.
The rampage began on September 14, 2020. Luke threatened a 20-year-old Sydney woman with a knife, stealing her Volkswagen Polo, phone, credit cards and $375. He later attempted to rob another two young women at a Sydney train station without success.
“Sucks Brian’s cock like a prison bitch”
Two days later, the Hillsong arson attack occurred. Stephen Luke first used pink paint to graffiti the northwestern Sydney Hillsong church.
He sprayed words to the effect that his ex-wife’s current husband ‘Sucks Brian’s cock like a prison bitch’.
He then lit a fire near Houston’s parking space. However, the fire was quickly extinguished with a hose. The damage from the Hillsong arson attack amounted to $3000.
Although Stephen Luke also lit another fire at Houston’s home, police did not charge him over that incident.
However, a fire the same man lit at Lismore’s St Carthage’s Catholic Church caused $1.3 million in damage.
Luke later admitted to lighting the fires at the Cathedral, Hillsong Church and Houston’s home in a Facebook post.
During a confrontation with police at Lismore on September 19, he pulled out a large hunting knife and told police to shoot him.
Police then pepper-sprayed and tasered Stephen Luke to disarm him.
He later said he had no association with Hillsong church and stopped taking his medication for mental health problems six months before.
With a non-parole period of three-and-a-half years, and time served, he will be eligible for release in March 2024.
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