Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Arsonist Released from Jail on Parole; Torched Car in Public Place

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Arsonist Released from Jail on Parole; Torched Car in Public Place

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Mortimer luke.mortimer@dailymercury.com.au

A MACKAY ice user convicted of arson after torching a man's car in a public carpark has been released from prison on parole.

Lonie Michael Gwilliams had been angry his mate had given evidence in court about a fight between Gwilliams and his then-wife.

Gwilliams responded by setting the man's red Toyota on fire in a public car park at Jubilee Pocket, leaving the victim thousands of dollars out of pocket.

The 46-year-old faced the District Court in Mackay from prison on Tuesday, after spending 327 days in custody. He pleaded guilty to arson committed on January 6 last year.

Prosecutor Melissa Wilson said Gwilliams had a nine-page criminal record dating back to when he was 18. Of note, Ms Wilson said, was an arson offence in 2007, which had involved a building being set on fire.

She detailed the crime before the court for Judge Paul Smith.

"It seems he's had an argument with the complainant, who appeared to give evidence in a wounding (case), in relation to (the defendant's) partner and the defendant at that time," Ms Wilson said. …

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