Daughter torches $26k car to avoid angry dad
A YOUNG woman thought torching her $26,000 car was a better idea than facing her angry father in a bizarre crash-and-run.
Felicity-Maye Tasker sobbed in the dock as the court heard how she folded down her back car seats, poured litres of fuel inside and set it on fire at Glass House Mountains on May 20.
The 21-year-old was charged with arson and attempted fraud, but her defence team claimed Tasker was only worried about her dad's reaction when she lit the match.
Crown prosecutor Kathryn Milbourne said Tasker freaked out when she crashed the Hyundai, insured under her dad's name, on her way to his house.
A group of Tasker's friends were travelling behind when she crashed and offered to get some fuel for her empty car to continue the journey home.
Afraid of her dad's reaction, Tasker came up with another idea.
"Dad is going to shoot me … might just burn it," Ms Milbourne said Tasker told her friends.
The car was moved to a nearby rural road before Tasker "shrugged her shoulders" and saturated the car with fuel.
"She made a fuel trail and lit it on fire … the car was engulfed in flames," Ms Milbourne said.
Tasker gave her friends a cover story and reported the car stolen the next day.
The aspiring school teacher, who had no criminal history, pleaded guilty at Maroochydore District Court on Thursday to arson and attempted fraud.
Ms Milbourne said Tasker was lucky the fire did not cause any more damage.
"There was a risk of fire spreading with such proximity to the bush," she said.
Police arrived at her work to question her about the stolen car and encouraged her to file an insurance claim.
Defence barrister Angelo Venardos said Tasker made the initial steps with the insurance company under police instruction and had no intention of gaining cash when she burned the car.
Tasker made fortnightly loan repayments of $240 and the car was insured for about $23,000.
The court heard Tasker later withdrew the claim.
"It was not her intent … her intent was to get the fuel and go home," Mr Venardos said.
"It was all borne out of fear of the difficult conversation with her dad."
The court heard Tasker lied to police when she was interviewed on June 11.
She did not realise her friends had already given statements to police about what happened.
Mr Venardos said Tasker now understood the gravity of the offence and had a fear of going to jail.
He said Tasker wanted to live a lawful life and had since disassociated herself from the friends she was with at the time of the offence.
Judge Gary Long said Tasker gained nothing from her actions and sentenced her to 30 months' probation with no conviction recorded.