Man threatens to set wife’s car on fire in heated argument
A VIOLENT argument between a husband and wife, subject to a domestic violence order, ended with threats to set her car on fire.
Yet despite the aggressive threats, the perpetrator, who cannot be named for legal reasons, left court with just a fine and no conviction recorded.
The husband, a retired military veteran of 10 years, was with his wife at a Kilcoy licenced venue on December 28, when the incident began.
As the couple was preparing to leave, a friend of the victim approached them and accused the man of being a “woman abuser”.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Hooper told the Toogoolawah Magistrates Court the incident led to an argument between the pair during their journey home in which the husband yelled at his wife for “not sticking up for him” and called her a “f---ing c---“.
Once home, he continued to verbally abuse her.
The abuse soon escalated when he pushed his wife with a broom, causing her to fall off the toilet she was sitting on.
The court heard he then sprayed his wife with beer and took her mobile phone and keys.
When the victim attempted to use the home landline to call police, Snr-Constable Hooper told the court the husband pulled the phone base out of the wall and threw it at her.
It was then he made the threat to set her car on fire.
The victim left the home the next morning and filed a police complaint.
The husband was interviewed and admitted to verbally abusing his wife but claimed the language was normal “due to his military training”.
Snr-Constable Hooper described his behaviour as concerning.
In court, the husband pleaded guilty to one charge of contravention of a domestic violence order but disputed some aspects of the prosecution’s facts.
In particular, he claimed the threat to burn the car was taken out of context.
“I didn’t say I was going to burn your car what I did say was I’d rather burn the car than let you drive it, because she was drunk,” he said.
But it was an excuse that didn’t wash with Magistrate Louisa Pink.
“It does not matter if the she’s threatening to drive the car and she’s drunk,” Ms Pink said.
“I would not have thought that you would threaten to burn the car.
“You could do a whole range of things to try to stop her from driving without going to the extremes of threatening to burn a car.”
The husband told the court he had completed an anger management course before the incident and had since completed a course to help him with PTSD.
He also admitted his behaviour was not acceptable.
“I’m not proud of it at all, I am ashamed of it,” he said.
But he also seemed to shift part of the blame onto his wife, claiming she had attended some of his PTSD meetings and would have known how to defuse the situation.
“I believe the argument could have been hit on the head straight away (earlier that night),” he said.
While Magistrate Pink acknowledged he disputed some of the facts, she agreed with the prosecutor that his behaviour was concerning.
“I want to make it very clear to you … that there are aspects to the facts, which still stand, which are concerning,” she said.
“What concerns me is that you’re minimising your conduct.
“It concerns me that you don’t have insight into your own conduct, and that you’re pointing the finger at her.”
Despite the Magistrate’s concerns, the man walked out of court with a $400 fine and his conviction was not recorded.