John Schleusner pleaded guilty to arson in Bundaberg District Court after he set a car, which belonged to a work colleague, on fire in Childers. Photo: Social Media
John Schleusner pleaded guilty to arson in Bundaberg District Court after he set a car, which belonged to a work colleague, on fire in Childers. Photo: Social Media

NO REMORSE: Colleague’s car set alight in 'malicious' act

A COURT has heard of a man's "malicious" and "vengeful" act which resulted in another man's car being destroyed by fire at Childers.

John Paul Schleusner, 35, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court yesterday to one count of arson.

Legal officer instructed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Luke Smoothy told the court Schleusner and the victim were known to each other as they had worked together.

Mr Smoothy said there had been some animosity between them and they argued on occasion at work.

The court heard on the night of April 25 Schleusner had been drinking and decided to get a jerry can of fuel from his father's house.

He then walked to the victim's property and entered through a gate where he poured petrol on his car as well as a line of fuel leading away from it.

Schleusner then lit the end of the petrol trail which spread to the car which was destroyed in the fire.

Mr Smoothy said the blaze was in close proximity to the victim's property.

Schleusner was arrested the following day after police searched his home where they found the jerry can.

Schleusner told police that he only intended to damage the paint and but did what he did because he thought the victim was a "f--k wit".

Mr Smoothy said while Schleusner had pleaded guilty, he had not shown remorse and described the offending as "malicious, vengeful and ultimately highly dangerous".

He said Schleusner had "serious offences" in his criminal history including an incident where he threw a molotov cocktail at a man causing the victim to receive burns to his chest and arms.

Mr Smoothy told the court Schleusner had spent 122 days on remand.

Schleusner's barrister Callan Cassidy conceded his client had a "concerning but limited" criminal history.

Mr Cassidy told the court his client was a victim of child molestation which had had an impact on his mental health.

He said Schleusner had been diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenia.

Mr Cassidy told the court since being on remand Schleusner had engaged with the prison mental health team and was medicated.

He said Schleusner had also worked in the kitchen at the prison and had also put his name down for a number of courses.

Mr Cassidy said Schleusner wanted to be there for his kids.

Judge Jennifer Rosengren took into account Schleusner's plea of guilty came just months after he committed the offence.

Judge Rosengren also took into account Schleusner's personal circumstance and his ambitions to return to work and be there for his children.

She also took into account it wasn't the first time Schleusner had offended using fire.

Schleusner was sentenced to three years imprisonment and will be released on parole in April after serving 12 months.

122 days of pre-sentence custody was declared as time served.



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