File image of a burnt out car.
File image of a burnt out car. Chris Ison ROK180914cfire3

After 13 years he probably thought he'd gotten away with it

A FATHER who stole a car in 2004, dumped it on the outskirts of Rockhampton and torched it has only just been sentenced for the offence.

Russell Andrew King, 40, pleaded guilty to the arson charge in the Rockhampton District Court on May 25.

The court heard DNA linked King to the crime in 2008, charges were laid in 2012 and he failed to appear in court after that.

He was recently picked up for an assault and taken into custody, which was how he ended up in court last week.

His defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said King started drinking at 17, smoking cannabis at 18 and was a heavy user of methamphetamines from 20-27.

He said he stopped abusing drugs when his son was born.

The arson offence took place before King stopped injecting meth on a daily basis and after he had his licence disqualified absolutely in 2000.

Mr Ahlstrand said it was a foolish and opportunistic offence and that King did not know the owner of the vehicle.

The court heard the owner was not seeking restitution and had only paid a couple of hundred dollars for the vehicle.

Judge Michael Burnett sentenced King to a total of two years and seven months jail with a parole release date of June 19 after 77 days pre-sentence custody declared.

He also ordered King be disqualified for two years.



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