Sometimes what appears to be an outrageous plot to Lifetime's next movie actually turns out to be a real-life story—and this one is petty as hell. A man who was accused of burning down a house to stop his ex-wife from getting it in their divorce has lost his court case, Buzzfeed reports.
Former couple Krste Kovacevski and Naumka Kovaceska (who reside in Wollongong, Australia) divorced in 2015. On July 22, 2016, a judge ordered Kovacevski to leave his cottage in Coniston where he had lived since 1991. He was to give it to Kovaceska by August 5, but he clearly wasn't here for that part of the settlement agreement. The night before Kovacevski was supposed to fork over the keys, he decided to burn the house down. He later confessed to his wrongdoing, telling a police officer "I started the fire. I started it in the middle of the house. I used kerosene."
Then in September, he was was ordered to spend two years in jail with a non-parole period of six months after being "convicted of intentionally or recklessly destroying with fire property belonging either to his ex-wife, or to both him and his ex-wife." Kovacevski was released on appeal bail and tried to have the case thrown out. He claimed he had the legal right to burn down the cottage and that the police notice stated "property of" instead of "belonging to."
But his argument did not work in his favor, because on Monday Kovacevski's appeal was dismissed by judge Andrew Haesler. "[Krste Kovacevski] did what he did so that Naumka Kovacevska would not have the full benefit of the property that belonged to her," the decision read. "He was not exercising any genuine belief he had a legal right to do what he did."
"To the contrary, everything said and done confirms he did what he did knowing he had no legal entitlement to destroy the property having signed the transfer document in accordance with the Federal Circuit Court order," the judge continued. "On the evidence before me the appellant was acting to deny his wife her rights as ordered by the Federal Circuit Court. The appellant was aware of the court’s orders and was acting in deliberate defiance of them."
The judge will decide Kovacevski’s prison sentence on March 9.