A Wollongong inmate with the words 'Mein Kampf' tattooed on his forehead stands accused of persuading a child to burn down a man's new $90,000 ute in an alleged twisted revenge plot.
"Walk straight up beside the trailer and the car and f--- sh-- up," Benjamin Jacob Thomas allegedly said as he instructed the minor in a recorded jail call in September 2022.
Thomas' ink, the title for Adolf Hitler's autobiographical manifesto, was visible when he dialled into Wollongong Local Court from custody on Wednesday and made a bid for his release.
The 35-year-old is yet to enter pleas to recruiting a child to carry out a criminal activity and intentionally damaging property by fire by procuring a child to commit the offence.
Tendered court documents state the alleged victim - Thomas' ex-girlfriend's partner - bought a white 2020 Ford Ranger Raptor ute as a birthday gift to himself on September 12, 2022 and parked it at his Gwynneville address shortly after 10pm the next day.
A few minutes later, the man allegedly saw an outside sensor light turned on and a person's silhouette, however, he dismissed it.
It's alleged he then heard his vehicle's alarm before he stepped outside and saw it was up in flames.
"The cars on fire, call the fire brigade," the man allegedly said to his partner, before attempting to extinguish the blaze with a garden hose.
The rear window and tray had been completely destroyed by the time fire crews attended the scene. The ute was an insurance write-off as a result of the damage.
Thomas was initially ruled out of the investigation due to being locked up, however, he became a suspect after police received information he was allegedly in contact with the minor accused of being involved in the incident.
Police in May this year listened to several telephone calls recorded between September 9 and 16, 2022, in which Thomas allegedly told the minor to "get one of your naughty friends" to set the ute on fire.
"Get something f---ing real flammable. Stab some tyres, throw a brick through the bloody car window or something," Thomas allegedly said in one call.
"Do not be seen near the front door. Straight up the side of the driveway in between the car and the fence, right?
"All the bedrooms are on the front side so they shouldn't hear you."
Thomas allegedly told the minor that his ex-girlfriend was the reason he was behind bars and was motivated to get her back.
"She's f---ing trying to get me charged for breach of AVO's and everything," he allegedly said.
Court papers state there is an apprehended violence order prohibiting Thomas from approaching or contacting the woman until 2025.
Thomas was released from custody for separate matters on June 2. He was re-arrested on June 29 for his alleged role in setting fire to the vehicle.
Defence lawyer Kel Clowry said one of Thomas' parole had expired two days ago for a separate wounding offence, presenting a "significant change in circumstances allowing for a fresh release application".
Magistrate Chris McRobert refused Thomas' release on account of the strength of the prosecution case and his violent criminal history.
The matter was adjourned to February 14, 2024.
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