Jail for Coast man who burned ex-partner's car

A COAST man who set fire to his former-partner's car will spend the next eight months in prison.

Jeffrey Kenneth Witney, 27, yesterday pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court to arson and contravening a domestic violence order.

The court heard Witney became enraged because his then-partner wanted to separate from him.

"You left and went back to the car it seems continued to consume alcohol, because there was evidence of that found near the car," Judge Gary Long said.

He said Witney left voice-mails on the woman's mobile phone accusing her of seeing someone else, and saying he was going to burn the car.

"It wasn't a particularly valuable car - the value was estimated at $1300 - but it was her vehicle and her means of transport," Judge Long said.

He said the act of arson, along with Witney's history of breaching domestic violence orders against the same partner - for which he was given a suspended prison sentence in March last year - were concerning.

"It is indicative of a loss of control by you, exhibitions of anger directed at the complainant," he said.

Defence barrister Simon Lewis said Witney's burning of the car was an "impulsive act" fuelled by anger and alcohol.

He said Witney had sought counselling for his drinking and anger issues.

"The offending, and indeed previous offending, is indicative of an emotionally immature man with difficulties with alcohol and difficulties dealing with emotional anger in what seems to have been a tumultuous relationship," he said.

Judge Long said the impulsiveness had to be balanced with the "vindictiveness and maliciousness" with which Witney acted.

He sentenced Witney to three years in prison for arson and one year in prison for the aggravated contravention of a domestic violence order.

Witney will serve eight months in jail before his parole release date on April 22 next year.

He was ordered to pay the victim $1300 compensation.


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