A MAN set fire to his own car in an attempt to gain insurance money after his partner lost her job and became addicted to computer games.
David Andrew Tailby, 40, pleaded guilty at Ipswich District Court last week to arson and attempted fraud after lighting a petrol-soaked tea towel in his Toyota Hilux's fuel tank and leaving it to burn.
The court heard Tailby's car was due to be repossessed the next day because he couldn't afford to make the repayments. He told police he had "accidentally thrown his key out", but drove it to the end of School Rd, near the White Rock Nature Reserve, on December 23 in 2010.
He set fire to the car and attempted to gain an insurance payment, which was worth about $52,000.
The court heard Tailby had come into severe financial trouble after his partner had lost her job and became addicted to computer games.
Ten photos tendered to the court showed the gutted car, which had not put any people's lives in danger when Tailby set it alight.
Defence barrister Steve Kissick said Tailby's judgment had been impaired by depression and anxiety and after his wife became addicted to computer games he began to have a breakdown.
Mr Kissick said Tailby knew he should have sought alternative means to find an end to his financial woes but made the "ill-conceived and quick decision" to set fire to his car.
Tailby was sentenced to three years prison and can be released on parole on April 12 next year after serving six months.
Judge Deborah Richards was satisfied Tailby wouldn't reoffend and was making positive steps to get his life back on track. She noted he didn't clearly think about the circumstance of his actions.