Men torch car in act of revenge

A MAN caught setting fire to a car has remained tight lipped on the identity of his co-offender.

Shane Muhling was recognised on CCTV as being one of two people torching a Hyundai sedan parked in a Yamanto driveway on November 25, 2018.

A court on Friday heard the arson was Muhling's act of revenge against his estranged partner, who was said to have been dating a younger man.

Muhling narrowly avoided serving jail time when he faced Ipswich District Court.

Shane Robert John Muhling, 47, pleaded guilty to committing arson of a motor vehicle at Yamanto on November 25, 2018.

Crown prosecutor Victoria Adams tended four photos depicting the burnt car.

"He knew the owner was in a relationship with his former partner," Ms Adams said.

"He and the unknown male went to the victim's home. The co-offender, who is unidentified, poured petrol over the car and it was set alight.

"CCTV captured the offending. The footage is not of such quality to identify the unknown person but he (Muhling) could be identified.

"He was not the person who poured petrol over the car and he (Muhling) did not set it alight, although he did have motive."

Defence barrister Clare Hurley said Muhling lived with his mother and was the carer for one of his children.

She said he left school at 15 to pursue cycling, before taking up labouring work.

The court heard he and his former partner later suffered the loss of a daughter to illness, and he was being treated for mental health issues.

Ms Hurley said Muhling instructed that the actual motive for the arson was his belief that two people had taken money from him.

The court was then closed for further submissions.

When the court reopened, Judge Dennis Lynch said Muhling was on a disability pension because of depression diagnosis and at the time of the offence had been using alcohol to excess.

"It is serious as it is in the nature of being a revenge attack, with the car completely destroyed," Judge Lynch said.

Muhling was sentenced to an 18-month jail term, immediately suspended for 18 months.

Defence made an application for a non-publication order but this was declined by Judge Lynch.



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