Man admits he wanted attention when he lit car on fire

A GLADSTONE-BORN man has admitted he set a car on fire because he was seeking attention.

When police arrived to see the car on fire, they spotted Daniel Peter Californeya standing about a metre away from the flames, staring at it as if he were in a trance.

Californeya, now aged 29, set fire to a BMW car that was parked in an undercover car park in Brisbane's West End in August last year.

He rang and reported it to police. When they arrived, he told them he had been walking past and smelt the fire.

But later when police were interviewing him, he admitted he started the fire.

Californeya told them he was feeling overwhelmed and anxious and was looking for attention.

He also had two oxycodone tablets, an opiate-based drug, in his bag.

Californeya pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court on Thursday to arson and possessing a dangerous drug.

The court heard the car was worth between $9000 and $12,000 and the owner was overseas at the time. It was not insured and was taken to a wrecker.

Defence barrister Jakub Lodziak said his client was a former drug addict and had been clean for about 10 months.

Judge David Reid said Californeya was obviously having problems when he committed the arson.

He said Californeya also told police he had a panic attack that night and had lost control.

"You made full admissions saying effectively that you were suffering from acute anxiety and were seeking attention in this bizarre way," he said.

"There were issues of mental health interrelated with drug and alcohol addiction that brought about this offence, which I think is entirely out of character."

Californeya was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail, wholly suspended. This means he does not go to jail but could be ordered to serve his jail sentence if he commits another serious offence within four years.

Californeya, who is studying to become a nurse, had a minor criminal history. - ARM NEWSDESK

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