The man lit himself on fire with a cigarette lighter. Photo supplied
The man lit himself on fire with a cigarette lighter. Photo supplied

Man lights himself on fire while threatening to burn house

A MAN, who lit himself on fire while threatening to burn his girlfriend's home with her inside, has received a six-month suspended jail sentence.

The 31-year-old, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty in Maryborough Magistrates Court to breaching a domestic violence order - an offence which left him with burns to 31 per cent of his body.

The court heard he had been subject to the order since October 31 2019 and went to the home on December 13.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Angela Trevaskis told the court, police were called to the home about 7.30pm in response to reports "a male was trying to kill his girlfriend, trying to light the house on fire."

"The defendant had been drinking on the veranda of the address when he struck his partner with a chair," she said

"The aggrieved and two female friends locked themselves inside the house … he then poured petrol on the front veranda saying he was going to kill the aggrieved and burn the house down.

"He then poured petrol on himself and began making threats to light himself on fire.

"He was striking his lighter with his arm outstretched resulting in him being engulfed by flames."

The man was rushed to Maryborough Hospital and treated for severe burns.

Duty Lawyer Morgan Harris said the defendant was struggling with alcoholism which contributed to the incident and he had since taken the first steps of rehabilitation.

"We don't down play the seriousness of the offending … (he) is very remorseful for his actions," Mr Harris said.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell said the man was lucky the incident only resulted in a breach charge as the offending was of the "highest degree."

"Everyone knows … domestic violence in our community is unacceptable and courts have a duty to impose penalties," he said.

"The injuries to yourself, hopefully are sufficient and a huge penalty to yourself."

The man was released and will only have to serve the time if he reoffends.

A conviction was recorded.

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