IN AN attempt to escape punishment for damaging his father's car, Jared Wade Carlson had an impulsive idea - set fire to the vehicle and say it was stolen.
Prosecutor Ryder Reid told Ipswich District Court yesterday Carlson had been driving his father's Hyundai i30 hatchback while his dad was overseas.
Mr Reid said Carlson had been drink-driving and his licence was disqualified when police attempted to pull him over on the Mt Lindesay Highway on October 27 last year.
Police turned on lights and sirens but the then 20-year-old failed to stop.
Later that night, Carlson drove the vehicle to a pine forest in Yarrabilba and set fire to it, using a lighter and some petrol.
Before doing so, he smashed the back window and collected the glass which he later scattered where the car had been parked.
The following morning Carlson, a truck driver from Springfield Lakes, reported the car as stolen.
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The burnt-out vehicle was located on November 2. His father lodged an insurance claim, unaware his son was responsible for the damage.
About three months later, Carlson admitted to police that he was responsible for setting the car on fire.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said that, on the night of the incident, Carlson had accidently damaged his father's vehicle before he set it on fire.
Mr Fairclough said Carlson committed the crime out of fear of his father's reaction and was "ashamed" of his actions.
Carlson pleaded guilty to one charge of arson of a motor vehicle and one charge of fraud.
Judge Sarah Bradley described Carlson's criminal behaviour as "gross stupidity".
"The facts in relation to the arson are unusual as you hadn't stolen the car and you didn't do it to gain any financial advantage," she said.
Carlson was convicted and sentenced to 12 months jail and released on parole.
NRMA insurance is pursuing a sum of about $18,000 in relation to the false insurance claim.