A FORMER CFA captain who called in a fake fire then received a series of anonymous phone calls, including being told his house would burn down with him inside, a court has heard.
Wayne Gordon Blomeley, 36, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to threatening to damage property and using a carriage service to menace.
The court heard that the victim, Bradley McNeight, had appeared in court last May over an incident in which he called emergency services about a fire he made up.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Michelle Kilburn said there was a large amount of media coverage of the hearing, including in The Courier.
Two days after the court appearance, Blomeley started harassing McNeight, calling him and putting on a Mexican or South American accent.
In one call Blomeley called McNeight “capitaan” and asked how his electric blankets were going to catch fire.
“There is going to be a house fire and it’s going to be your house, you’ll be in it,” he said in another call.
When McNeight asked how long this was going to go on, Blomeley replied “I’m not tired yet I will ring you later”.
The next day Blomeley called again, this time saying “they will come to get you”.
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson condemned phone calls and electronic communications like Facebook being used to harass.
“What you did was utterly appalling, this gentleman had no way of assessing if your threats were genuine,” she said.
“I am still very unclear as to your motivation.”
She fined him $2500 with conviction.
Defence lawyer David Tamanika said his client had caused “unfortunate, stupid incidents”, and was acting out of character.
“He’s now certainly regretful about what happened, he’s pleaded guilty and he’s not proud of what happened,” Mr Tamanika said.
“But whilst it’s disturbing ... there’s been no intervention order applications and there’s been no ongoing harassment past these incidents.
Mr Tamanika said his client made the calls as “a bit of ribbing”.