Man on trial for stealing, crashing and torching a car
A MAN is facing trial after allegedly stealing a set of car keys from a man in a pub, taking the car for a joyride, crashing and then torching it in a suburban street.
Curtis William Gibson, 20, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Ipswich District Court to unlawful use of a motor vehicle and arson.
The court heard the offences took place on May 23, 2014 at Redbank and Gailes between 3pm and 4.30pm.
Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso told the court the string of events started at the Commercial Hotel at Redbank.
She said the Crown alleges Mr Gibson and a female accomplice stole a set of car keys from a man who left them on his table when he went to get a beer.
"It all started when a person went to the pub for a few beers and a bet on the horses," she said.
"After arriving at the pub he noticed he had a hole in his pocket so he removed his wallet and keys and placed them on the table.
"Shortly after the man left his table to place a bet and grab a beer, that is when Mr Gibson and his accomplice struck."
Ms Kelso said that Mr Gibson took the keys off the table and immediately left the pub.
She said when the man went to leave the pub he noticed his keys missing.
"The Crown says Mr Gibson and the female drove the car from the pub to Gailes where they crashed it in Veronica St," she said.
"Witnesses who saw the crash will say they saw a man and woman exit the vehicle and start walking up the road.
"The same witnesses will say they saw the man throw something into the car and it caught fire."
Ms Kelso said the man who had his keys stolen identified Mr Gibson from a police line-up five months after the incident.
She said the Crown would call 10 witnesses during the trial and jurors would be shown CCTV footage from the pub, police interviews and pictures of the burnt out vehicle.
The trial before Judge Sarah Bradley is expected to last about two days.