Grudge drives arson attempt

Written By miftah nugraha on Senin, 04 Maret 2013 | 19.55

A MAN with a longstanding grievance against his lawyer tried to torch a magistrate's car outside her house, the Supreme Court has heard.

Peter Stephen Bomford, 59, Chigwell, today pleaded guilty in the Hobart court to attempting to unlawfully set fire to property.

Crown Prosecutor Allison Shand said Bomford tried to set fire to Magistrate Olivia McTaggart's work car as it sat in the driveway of her Hobart home on May 26 last year.

She said Bomford had a longstanding grievance against Ms McTaggart's husband, prominent Hobart lawyer Bruce McTaggart, over a personal injury case.

A neighbour spotted Bomford splashing petrol from a yellow jerry can along the McTaggarts' driveway early on the morning of May 26 and soon after saw a flash.

She called police and the fire brigade while her husband noted Bomford's registration number as the offender drove away.

Arson investigators determined the only reason the car did not ignite was that too much petrol had been used.

Ms Shand said the attack came 26 years to the day after Bomford was hit by a motor vehicle, causing serious injuries.

He was unhappy that Mr McTaggart had not secured him a larger compensation payout, she told the court.

Police found the jerry can and lighters in Bomford's car the day after the incident.

He told them Mr McTaggart was "a creep" who "should go back to primary school".

Defence lawyer Kim Baumeler said her client has suffered terrible injuries in the accident and tendered to the court medical evidence testifying that he was able to understand the proceedings against him.

She said the attempt to burn the car was a spur of the moment decision and arose in part because her client was not receiving adequate living support.

Justice Alan Blow will sentence Bomford on Wednesday.

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