News

"Trio of deception" give testimony against accused: Lawyer

FIRE AFTERMATH: The mobile dental van destroyed in a fire at Gatton State School.
FIRE AFTERMATH: The mobile dental van destroyed in a fire at Gatton State School. Photo Tom Threadingham Gatton

THREE convicted arsonists, who have testified against an alleged fourth co-offender, have been dubbed the "trio of deception" by a defence lawyer.

The trial of Zachary Dean Clark, 19, entered its second day yesterday.

Clark has pleaded not guilty to two counts of arson, and two counts of wilful damage which occurred during what Crown prosecutor Matthew Le Grand dubbed a night of "alcohol-fuelled destruction".

He has been accused of being a party to a fire, lit by co-offender Corey Andrew McCutcheon, inside a dental van at the Gatton State School, which spread to nearby classrooms on the night of October 30, 2012.

Mr Le Grand has alleged Clark encouraged and supported McCutcheon, BJ Alan Denton and Christopher Bernard Walker in the commission of the arsons and the damage of two cars, one before the fires at Gatton McDonald's and one outside the fire station.

However, under cross-examination by defence lawyer Peter Sloane, Denton, Walker and McCutcheon all admitted to lying in statements to police.

Mr Sloane said this showed the evidence of the three was unreliable.

"They're the trio of deception this lot," he said.

However, Mr Le Grand said Clark, who has pleaded guilty to breaking into the school block and the dental van, and the wilful damage of a railway boom gate after the offences, was "up to his neck" in offending with the others on the night.

"Before they've lit the fire he's repeatedly shown dedication to the group," Mr Le Grand said.

He pointed to the burglaries Clark had admitted to, stating the arsons "didn't happen in a vacuum".

Denton told the court on Tuesday, he and Clark had sprayed a fire extinguisher for "no purpose".

He then contradicted himself to Mr Sloane saying he and Clark had been attempting to put the fire out.

The court yesterday heard from a Toowoomba-based police officer, who had been working at Gatton at the time, who found the extinguisher at a nearby undercover area where it had been "let off".

Mr Le Grand said the extinguisher powder in the undercover area was evidence Clark and Denton were "playing around" with it, and not making a concerted effort to put the fire out.

However, Mr Sloane submitted to the jury the inconsistencies in Denton's testimony meant much of his evidence against Clark should be disregarded.

Judge Deborah Richards is expected to finish summing up tomorrow before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

Topics:  arson



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

People power gets Ipswich-Rosewood line back up and running

FEEDBACK: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk found out how important the railway line was to Rosewood residents on a recent visit.

Premier intervenes to end a month of pain for commuters

Vote for the best chips in Ipswich

Stephanie Sewell and Cheryl Pfeffer from The Chambers Cafe

Its the $64,000 question that needs to be answered

VIDEO: Mum's panic to save daughter trapped under car

THEIR STORY: Delwynn Meloury and her daughter Katie - Annette Korczak were involved in a car crash in Raceview and are asking that drivers be careful over the Christmas break.

Ipswich family want their story to remind others about road safety

Local Partners

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!