Repeat offender sets ex-partner’s property on fire, smashes window
A MAN who has previously served prison time for a burglary offence was sentenced in court for setting his ex-partner’s lawnmower on fire and smashed her window after he had suspicious she was cheating on him.
The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, fronted the Mitchell Magistrates Court on October 26 pleading guilty to breaching a domestic violence order and two wilful damage offences.
The court heard the defendant and his ex-partner were celebrating Father’s Day and had consumed an extensive amount of alcohol before heading back to the ex-partner’s home.
While at home, the two had a verbal argument over his suspicions that she was cheating on him.
Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting said about 10.20pm on September 6, Mitchell police officers attended to the home with reports of a disturbance.
Upon arrival, officers saw an overturned lawnmower that had been destroyed by a fire.
Witnesses told police the defendant walked up to the lawnmower and set it alight by an unknown means and threw something at a window causing it to smash.
Sergeant Whiting said officers attempted to speak with the defendant however he was extremely intoxicated so decided to speak with him the following day.
On September 7, officers questioned the defendant who denied setting the lawnmower alight but admitted he was highly intoxicated.
Sergeant Whiting submitted that a period of imprisonment is certainly in range as the defendant has previously been convicted of going armed to cause fear, trespassing offences, breaching bail and drug possession charges.
The defendant’s lawyer, Laurie Parker told Magistrate Peter Saggers that his client has difficulty with alcohol and is not getting the proper treatment he requires.
“Without proper treatment, keeps bringing him before the court and I’ve explained to him this is his last chance,” Mr Parker said.
“It’s the alcohol that has enabled him to contravene a domestic violence order and break the windows and lawnmower and to send him to prison now, won’t help him with his issues.”
Mr Parker whispered to his client – “if there’s another offence, he will put you in jail, you hear me – look at me”.
For the three offences, Saggers handed the defendant a three-month imprisonment sentence with immediate parole.
“You drunk so much, you don’t really recall what happened that day,” the magistrate said.
“You set fire to the lawnmower and the risk is that it catches fire onto something else, then you have wholesale damage and it’s a risk to people inside.
“There’s nothing good saying ‘I was drunk’, you have to do something about it and there’s only one bloke that can change things.
“You’re 48 and must do something about it.”