A MAN stole a car from Ballarat, took it to bush land to do burn outs and then torched the vehicle, causing $3500 in damage, a court has heard.
Twenty-year-old Ashley Nathan Nunn appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to five charges including arson, theft of a motor vehicle and theft.
The court heard Nunn’s offending was discovered when Water Board personnel observed smoke coming from the edge of bush land in the Springbank area in April this year.
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Pepe Brown said Nunn had stolen the car the day before after he saw it sitting by the side of a road with a flat tyre.
Nunn and a friend then drove the car to Springbank and “thrashed” it doing burn outs, before stripping it of all the most valuable parts.
They both then ignited carpet in the car, setting the vehicle alight.
When police attended the scene they also discovered two empty collection tins that had been forcibly opened.
Nunn, from Redan, had been found with a large quantity of coins on him, which he admitted had come from the tins which he found in the car.
Most of the stolen money had already been spent at Zagame’s.
Both men also admitted smoking cannabis during the ordeal.
Initially Nunn’s friend allegedly told police the burning vehicle was his and that it caught fire while they were driving it “a bit hard”.
Police also observed numerous skid and burnout marks nearby.
Defence lawyer Tim Tyler told the court his client wanted to abide by the law.
“He appears to have some insight into the use of drugs and alcohol ... and he has a genuine desire to do the right thing and treat that,” Mr Tyler said.
“He is going to stop offending because he wants to.”
Mr Tyler urged the court to consider a community corrections order, citing his client’s young age as a key factor in sentencing.
Mr Tyler’s submission was successful, with magistrate Kay Robertson sentencing Nunn to a 12-month CCO including 120 hours of unpaid community work.
“It seems to me it’s completely up to Ashley what he wants to do and if he wants to get straight,” Ms Robertson said.
“If he’s going to muck around and do offences like this he’s going to get locked up.”