Mudgee man jailed for torching car and threatening police

A 26-year-old man charged with multiple offences, including torching a stolen car and threatening police and their families, was sentenced to two years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 12-months. 

Scott James Chandler of Cameron Street, Mudgee, also faced charges of driving while disqualified and drug possession, and was additionally placed on a three-year good behaviour bond and disqualified for a further 12 months.

Between 10pm on October 23, 2017, and 3.45am the next morning a vehicle was stolen from Inverness Place, Mudgee, after the property was broken into and the keys taken.

Police were later informed that the car was set alight near the intersection of Spring Flat and Bruce roads. They arrived and located Chandler and the co-accused – a young person – 500m from the vehicle.

He was in possession of two cigarette lighters and the car had been filled with leaves to help in burn.

Chandler was declared a habitual offender due to a number of driving offences and disqualified from April 14, 2016, until 2024. On the afternoon of September 22 police saw him driving in Gladstone Street and followed him until he stopped in Adams Street.

He got out of the car and said “it wasn’t me, I wasn’t driving”. The passenger – still sitting in the vehicle – told officers “it was me chief, I was driving”.

At about 5.45pm on December 3, 2017, Chandler was arrested on warrants and taken to Mudgee Police Station. He was found to be in possession of suboxone film, which contains Buprenorphine a prescription drug taken for heroin and methadone dependence.

While in custody he made numerous threats against four officers, such as “it’s easy to find you” and asked about their children and families.

Magistrate David Day noted “he was on parole for driving while disqualified and he drove while disqualified” and “it seems Mr Chandler just doesn’t get it”. And added that the drug possession charge “is just representative of his fairly pathetic lifestyle”.

Before reading out the threats the defendant made against police.

Chandler appeared in court via audio visual link and after he was sentenced he attempted to ask his solicitor about bail. Magistrate Day said, “I heard what he said and he’s not getting bail, I note he had limited success in the past”.