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



Ipswich business in legal battle with brewer over trade mark

Fig Jam Catering owner Jason Davidson is taking Burleigh Brewing to court over its use of the Fig Jam trademark for one of its brews. Pics of Jason in his shop/kitchen with some of his products - his business has been operating since 2005.

A craft brewer has found itself in a legal pickle over FIGJAM ale

Lakes closed after concerns for water quality

Lake Clarendon.

TWO of the region's lakes remain closed to all water based activity

Caught in the act: Ipswich cop's good deed

A police officer was there in Joan Bell's time of need when her tyre burst in front of a busy shopping centre.

WHEN a police officer saw a distressed woman, he jumped into action.

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Home town support spurs on Ipswich chef

CONTENDER: Judges have praised the work of Ipswich cook Ben Ungermann, who has avoided the dreaded elimination rounds.

Ben gets a little sweeter

Shannon Noll: What I don't like about The Voice

ON TOUR: Shannon Noll will perform in Ipswich on June 3 as part of a 35-show run.

Australian Idol veteran talks reality TV during 35-date Aussie tour

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Council refusal of 'high density' development ends in court

Ipswich City Council first meeting with the new 2016 council.

Developer took the matter to the Queensland Planning Court

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!