News

Man who allegedly used car as weapon kept behind bars

House fire and neighbourhood dispute at McInnes Street, Loowood. Photo: Contributed
House fire and neighbourhood dispute at McInnes Street, Loowood. Photo: Contributed Contributed

A MAGISTRATE has kept a Lowood man behind bars after he allegedly used his vehicle as a weapon in a revenge attack.

The 36-year-old man, Mario Giovinni Merlo, had his house destroyed after it was set ablaze in the early hours of Sunday morning.

While firefighters battled the flames, Merlo and his male housemate allegedly confronted residents at a house down the road about the fire.

After a heated dispute, Merlo apparently got in his car and steered his vehicle into the front yard of the second address.

It is alleged Merlo intentionally drove the car at the house, its occupants and vehicles parked at the address.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday, he appeared in the dock with his face swollen from a suspected broken jaw, which he apparently sustained during the altercation.

In relation to the incident, Merlo was charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle, acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and two counts of wilful damage.

He was also charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, robbery and deprivation of liberty for a series of offences on April 18.

The matters were adjourned to May 27.

In applying for bail, defence lawyer Justin Thomas said Merlo intended to dispute the charges and added there was "more to the story than what was contained in the material".

Mr Thomas told the court his client had strong ties to the community and worked in the construction industry as a pipe layer.

He said although Merlo had a criminal history, his risk of reoffending could be adequately managed under strict bail conditions.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said even with the conditions Merlo still posed and "unacceptable risk" of reoffending.

"Even if I accept there is more to the story for both groups of offences, there are still two separate incidents alleged to have occurred," Ms Sturgess said.

It is alleged a housemate of Merlo stabbed an occupant of the second address with a screwdriver but has yet to be charged.

Topics:  ipswich magistrates court, mario giovinni merlo, wilful damage



Former minister claims he voluntarily stopped abusing boy

Retired Uniting Church Minister Barry Dangerfield (right) arrives at Brisbane District Court.

Barry Dangerfield charged with multiple counts of indecent dealing

Iconic Ipswich pub now number one in Queensland

PA Hotel owners Mary-Anne and Clive Johnson are pleased to have been awarded the Queensland Hotels Association 2016 Hotel of the Year.

It's official - Ipswich is home to the best pub in Queensland

Emotional farewell for AWLQ volunteers and staff

AWLQ CEO Denise Bradley farewells a long-serving volunteer at the West Ipswich facility on Friday.

The AWLQ has left the building. So what's next?

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Things to do around Ipswich this weekend

The Ipswich Orchid Society Garden Spectacular is this weekend.

Things to do around Ipswich

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets