‘Zero to custody’: Man targets ex with petrol bomb
A scorned ex who threw a molotov cocktail that caused $20,000 damage to the cars of his former partner and her new boyfriend will spend 12 months behind bars for the "vengeful" attack.
Burpengary DJ Corey James Hartas, 28, was drunk when he drove to his ex partner's Bald Hills house and threw a petrol bomb in her driveway while she slept inside with her six-year-old son and new partner, the Brisbane District Court heard.
Prosecutor Carly Whelan said Hartas was upset after his one-month relationship ended when he drove 20km with a container of fuel and fashioned the bomb out of a Smirnoff vodka bottle.
The couple woke when they heard an "explosion" which wrote off a $20,000 BMW and caused $2000 damage to the woman's Mazda.
Ms Whelan said the woman still has trouble sleeping and feels unsafe because of the attack, which occurred just before midnight on May 27 last year.
"It really was a dangerous act that was planned and vengeful," prosecutor Carly Whelan said.
"The vehicles were in proximity to the house which was clearly at risk then of having more serious consequences."
The court heard Hartas initially denied his involvement but confessed after police showed him call logs and cell-tower records which placed him at the scene.
There were also road camera images which captured Hartas driving north along the Bruce Highway 10 minutes after the explosion.
Hartas pleaded guilty to one count of arson and gave an emotional apology to the couple who were present in court for his sentencing hearing.
"I'm deeply sorry for my actions … for any stress I caused them," Hartas said.
"Secondly I'd like to apologise to my family, mainly my mum for letting her down in a moment - just sheer lack of judgment. Finally to my friends … I again apologise for letting everybody down."
Barrister Nicholas Brown said Hartas had no criminal history and it would be unfortunate to see him go from "zero to custody".
The court heard Hartas had worked hard to overcome spina bifida to become a successful DJ working in Bali and locally at clubs and weddings.
"I find it very difficult to understand how a man who brought so much joy to people as a DJ, how a man who dressed up as Santa to deliver hampers for a charity could throw a petrol bomb," Acting Judge Robert East QC said.
"I'm satisfied it is an aberration, but it's such a serious one that the only reasonable penalty open in the circumstances is one of imprisonment."
Acting Judge East said it was "entirely easy" to understand why he was upset, but his actions could not be tolerated.
"You chose to set out in the night-time to terrify her," he said.
"You acted in the white heat of revenge and jealousy."
Hartas was sentenced to three years' jail.
He will be released on parole in February next year.
Originally published as 'Zero to custody': Man targets ex with petrol bomb