Desperate plan to get out of paying car loan backfires on teen

A DESPERATE plan to get out of paying his car loan, and maybe getting an insurance pay out, has seen a teenager narrowly avoid jail.

After signing up to a loan for a new Ford Falcon Christopher Peter Thomas Carew, 19, found himself struggling to make repayments.

Carew started making jokes and comments to friends about maybe doing an "insurance job" on the car.

On August 18 last year, Carew drove the car to an isolated area in Borallon, followed by two friends.

He farewelled the car by performing burnouts before setting the car on fire by unknown means.

It violently burst into flames knocking him back out of the car. He was burnt on the arms and face.

His friends drove him to the Ipswich Hospital while he called police to report his car stolen.

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He told them he had followed the thieves to the car location and it had burst into flames when he approached it, burning him.

Carew pleaded guilty at the Ipswich District Court to setting fire to a motor vehicle. The court heard while he had intended to make an insurance claim on the car, he never did.

He has made no repayments towards the outstanding debt, more than $17,000 since burning the car. Judge Sarah Bradley said the way Carew had behaved was immature.

"You were acting in a stupid, immature fashion on the 18th of August last year when you thought it would be a good idea to set fire to the car and make an insurance claim," she said.

"As a result you yourself were injured. That shouldn't have been unforeseen." She said while she was unimpressed with his behaviour since the fire she was convinced he was remorseful and still had a massive debt for the car to repay. Judge Bradley sentenced Carew to two years jail, to be wholly suspended for four years.



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