Jail after threat to set man alight
By DARRYN NUFER ? A MAN who threatened to set fire to a Rockhampton nightclub patron after dousing him in petrol was sentenced to 18 months' jail yesterday.
Harrison Edward Britcher, 26, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court to stealing $10 from a 31-year-old man before producing a lighter as he made the threat.
The court heard Britcher had been sniffing petrol for between three and four hours before the confrontation with his victim near a city automatic teller machine on May 13 last year.
Judge Tony Skoien: "In the state of mind you were in maybe he (victim) is very lucky indeed you didn't roll your thumb on the lighter.''
The court was told the victim was still suffering emotionally from the incident, and at the time had "flashes of what happened to (burns victim) Jandamara O'Shane''.
Britcher was on bail for a charge of attempted robbery at the time of the incident.
He also had a "significant previous history for violent offences'', the court heard.
Judge Skoien said the charge relating to the threat was "very serious''.
"Given his (Britcher's) history, it's as bad as you can imagine.''
Working in Britcher's favour during sentencing was his early guilty plea, which had saved the time and expense of a trial.
Judge Skoien also took into account Britcher had spent almost a year in pre-sentence custody since the incident.