Jilted ex torches table he built for wife
A MAN flew into a destructive rage when his estranged wife would not accept his gift of a homemade coffee table, a court has heard.
After pouring petrol over the unwanted table and setting it on fire, the man then extinguished the fire and left the woman's house.
Ipswich District Court heard the woman returned home and called the fire brigade after noticing a petrol container on fire in her carport.
Appearing before Ipswich District Court the 44-year-old man, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to three charges of contravening a domestic violence protection order with circumstances of aggravation when previously convicted on April 22, 2019 at Bundamba.
Prosecutor James Bishop said the Crown would not proceed with an earlier indictment charge of endangering property by fire.
Mr Bishop said the man, who was subject to a domestic violence protection order, was prohibited from visiting his wife unless he received her written permission.
After she gave permission he went to her home but arrived intoxicated at 10.30am and was verbally abusive to her.
He left the house but returned without permission at 1pm the same day.
She told him to leave the house and she also left with her children.
Mr Bishop said the man went into the carport and poured petrol from a tin onto a table and set it alight, then left.
He said the woman returned home to find the petrol tin and table on fire and called the fire brigade, but it was extinguished before the emergency officers arrived.
Mr Bishop said the offences were aggravated because the offender had been verbally abusive and engaged in conduct with the potential to damage the house. Mr Bishop said the man had been before the court three months earlier for a domestic violence offence.
Defence lawyer Sandra Ardelean submitted three personal references on the man's behalf, including one from a police officer.
"One feature of the case is the clear intention he never intended to damage any of her property," Ms Ardelean said.
"Damage was isolated to a coffee table.
"He was invited in writing by the complainant. Not until the argument he was told to leave.
"He returned, felt sorry (for what he did) and he brought a coffee table as a present.
"She says she didn't want it and to shove it up his a**e.
"He, in a moment of stupidity, grabbed the petrol tin, and poured it over the table he made for her."
Ms Ardelean said the man put out the fire but the woman later noticed a fire still coming from the tin.
"He was not aware the container had caught fire," she said.
Ms Ardelean said the offence related to excessive drinking at the time, and since the offence 14 months ago the man had not consumed any alcohol.
She said it was in the public interest that he remain in the community and working, and to continue his rehabilitation efforts.
Judge Dennis Lynch QC said police found him intoxicated soon after the fire and he spent 20 hours in custody.
"You returned to her house without authority," he said.
"She left and you chased her car down the street a short distance. Then you returned to the house and entered the carport.
"You set fire with petrol from the container to the table that you made then you left.
"She returned to the residence to find the fuel container on fire."
Judge Lynch said the guilty pleas meant the woman did not have to give evidence and that the man's misuse of alcohol developed after the breakdown of his marriage.
References before the court spoke highly of him.
"Hopefully a light bulb has come on and you are aware this behaviour is not tolerated by the community," he said.
Judge Lynch accepted the man was genuinely remorseful.
The man was sentenced to a 12-month probation order with no conviction recorded.
Judge Lynch warned him that he must comply with the conditions of the order or risk being returned to court.