Man pours petrol over car, holds lighter to scare neighbour

STROPPY and apparently angry with his elderly neighbour, Trevor Bliss poured petrol over their car and held a lighter.

He also had a crow bar and had terrified the woman, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard.

Appearing in custody Trevor John Bliss, 32, pleaded guilty to Crown charges of going armed in public to cause fear (to a woman aged 70) in Bellbird Park on September 24 last year; wilfully damaging property - car; and with intent to intimidate (woman aged 70) threatened to enter her home.

Crown prosecutor, legal officer Natasha Botha said Bliss had a previous conviction for wilful damage in 2017 and 10 court appearances.

She said he'd been held in custody 157 days on the charges and the Crown sought a penalty of six months jail as being an appropriate sentence or a lengthy term of supervised probation.

When Ms Botha went to speak of the agreed facts in the open court, magistrate Brian Kucks said "No, I've read the facts".

The facts were not read onto the record which makes it difficult to report the matter accurately.

Unlike other states where there is no impediment to factual reporting of open court matters, in Queensland court reporters and media cannot fact check unless money is paid - essentially buying the facts on record to read.

Defence lawyer Allana Davie sought a probation order for Bliss, saying he'd suffered a number of traumas in his life that led to alcohol issues with binge drinking.

Ms Davie said the former tyre fitter has two children and outlined tragic violent incidents to affect his family.

When he was a teenager, Bliss had suffered burns to 30 per cent of his body after a molotov cocktail was thrown at him. He began using ice at the age of 29.

No explanation was given as to what caused Bliss to offend against his neighbours and Mr Kucks did reveal some facts about the incident.

Mr Kucks said he read his mother's letter saying "times may well have been tough".

"No excuse your honour," said Bliss from the dock.

"That was my next line," said Mr Kucks.

"It might go toward explaining your behaviour - perhaps. But not excuse it.

"You had a bone to pick with your neighbour.

"It did not warrant you charging over to an elderly lady with a crow bar or whatever it was in a threatening (manner).

"Pouring petrol over his car and having a lighter ready to burn his car.

"No wonder she was terrified.

"Indeed you were extremely fortunate when police arrived you were able to be talked down and co-operate.

"(There's) a number of people who now occupy coffins and justifiably so.

"You certainly don't take a cigarette lighter to a gun fight, that's what police had."

He noted that Bliss had done courses in jail to help him find work when released.

"The facts are such that a term of imprisonment is warranted," Mr Kucks said.

"Courts duty to deter you and others from committing these offences.

"You have served what I consider to be an appropriate sentence. There should be ongoing supervision in the community."

Bliss was convicted and sentenced to 157 days jail on all charges - served concurrent.

Immediately released to an 18-month supervised probation order.



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