A Fishermans Paradise man has to pay back thousands of dollars to an insurer after it was found he torched his own car and made a fraudulent claim.
Christopher Duncan Nicholas, 31, was sentenced to 150 community service hours and handed a 12-month intensive corrections order when he pleaded guilty to a charge of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception at Milton Local Court on Thursday, July 25.
According to police facts tendered to the court, police received a report of a motor vehicle fire at the Golfie Beach car park, Burleigh Way, Mollymook about 9.30pm on October 14, 2018.
A white utility vehicle, registered to Nicholas, was "well alight" when police arrived. Police facts stated a witness had entered the car park shortly after the vehicle was set alight. The witness saw a man get on a motorbike and ride away, capturing it with their mobile phone.
Police arrived at Nicholas's address, noticing a motorbike was resting against the outside wall of the house, with the engine still warm.
Nicholas was on the phone to the police assistance line reporting a theft of his car, but ended the call to speak to police.
He told police he left his then Narrawallee address at 8pm to go to Ulladulla KFC for dinner. When he returned at 8.30pm his utility was missing. He also advised police he intended to make an insurance claim.
Police noticed Nicholas was wearing the same clothing as the rider of the motorbike who left the scene and he agreed the engine was warm, but could not offer a reasonable excuse as to why.
The next day Nicholas initiated a claim with Allianz Insurance Australia Ltd in relation to theft and arson of his vehicle.
Costs incurred during the process included a hire car to use whilst the claim was processed ($1271.71), the insurance assessor engaged by Allianz ($1775.78), an assessor, who was used to make an assessment for the possibility of repair, ($375.91) and the towing fee ($308).
On January 4, Nicholas was advised by police they believed he was responsible or burning his own car. He said he did not want to saying anything when requested for an interview.
Magistrate Susan McGowan also ordered him to pay full costs of $3731 in reparation fees to his insurer.