Angry boyfriend set car ablaze

July 13, 2018 | By More

A woman’s car was burnt out in Christchurch’s red zone because her boyfriend was angry with her.

The two men who set fire to the car on Brooker Avenue, Burwood, have now been sentenced in the Christchurch District Court.

Twenty-four-year-old Brayden Clemett was sentenced on charges of arson of the car, dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, driving with sustained loss of traction, unlawfully getting into a car, and breaching community work.

Tyler Keith Smith, 23, was sentenced on a charge of arson of his girlfriend’s car.

Defence counsel for Clemett, Alistair James, said while Clemett had been in custody for eight months he had reflected on his lifestyle and was trying to plan for his future. He had been a victim of bullying and stand-over tactics in prison but did not get into any trouble.

Judge Tom Gilbert said the men had driven to the red zone on November 13 in separate cars.

They doused Smith’s girlfriend’s car with petrol and set it on fire, then both got into the other car and left. Police chased their car, but Clemett refused to stop for them, drove around a residential area in Aranui at up to 100km an hour, through red lights, and drove home. He attempted to run away but was caught by police.

Clemett had 37 prior convictions, and previous home detention sentences.

Letters of support for Clemett said he had had a change of attitude while in custody, and the birth of his son had given him a focus for the future.

Judge Gilbert said he had already served the equivalent of a 16-month sentence in prison.

Clemett had good family support, and Judge Gilbert said he was willing to give him home detention as an opportunity to reintegrate into the community, and get to know his son.

He said that if Clemett went around behaving like a half-wit like he had been doing, he might as well be back in prison. He told him to get on and make a clean start, as he had promised to do.

He sentenced him to five months’ home detention, remitted his fines for earlier offending, and disqualified him from driving for two years.

Paul Johnson, defence counsel for Smith, said Smith was angry at his girlfriend when he set her car on fire, but had completed an anger management course while on bail.

Smith suffered from ADHD, and severe anxiety, he said, but he had family support, and was back in a relationship with the girlfriend.

Judge Gilbert ruled out the home detention address with the girlfriend, and sentenced Smith to 14 months’ prison, with leave to apply for home detention when an appropriate address was found.

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