IN COURT: Seth Jacob McCarthy has pleaded guilty to arson in the Bundaberg District Court.
IN COURT: Seth Jacob McCarthy has pleaded guilty to arson in the Bundaberg District Court. Facebook

Man rejected by ex sets her mum's car on fire

SOME say revenge is a dish best served cold, but when a Bundaberg teenager was rejected by his ex-girlfriend, he reached boiling point and torched her mum's car.

Seth Jacob McCarthy pleaded guilty to one count of arson in the District Court at Bundaberg last week.

The charge arose after the 19-year-old set fire to the car owned by his former partner's mother.

In the middle of the night on March 26, McCarthy sent his ex a text saying "your house is about to be lit on fire".

He then torched her mother's car, which was sitting outside their home at Millbank.

The court heard the text message was the last of many he'd sent in the lead-up to the arson, most of which revolved around the pair getting back together.

Crown prosecutor Chris Cook said emergency services were able to put the blaze out quickly, limiting the damage to the car.

"She (the mother), didn't have to pay any excess, the insurance company sorted out the damage, but they intend to pursue him (McCarthy) for that damage," Mr Cook said.

It is understood the repairs cost about $5000.

Defence barrister Jacob Robson said his client had no criminal history and had had a rough upbringing.

"At the time of this he was homeless, he'd been poorly educated, he came from a fractured family, his parents separated when he was about one year of age," he said.

"His primary education was difficult for him, because he was bullied mercilessly.

"His mother went on to have numerous relationships, which were violent in nature, the violence was conducted in his presence when he was at a vulnerable age."

As a result, McCarthy left home but managed to pick up sporadic work, the court heard.

Judge Katherine McGinness said the arson was concerning in that it "was an overreaction to a rebuff from a former girlfriend".

She sentenced McCarthy to 18 months in prison suspended for 18 months and told him he could now "put this behind (him)".

"People have seen talent and good things in your character and they've offered you an opportunity which you've taken up and succeeded with so far," she said

"Prove to yourself and everybody that you can do a lot more in the future."



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