"The devil set my car on fire", says drug user
A DINGO Beach man who thought the devil had set his car on fire after smoking synthetic cannabis pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in the Proserpine Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Jacqualyn Hughes told the court officers were called to a car crash on Collinvale Rd, Gregory River, at around 4.20pm on October 20, 2015.
Officers arrived to find Neil Darcy Jones with "pin point pupils", while his car was ablaze in a paddock around 100m away.
Jones was treated for burns to his hands before being taken to Proserpine Hospital where he provided a statement to police.
"He stated to police, I quote, 'I don't know, I may have passed out. People were talking to me, telling me to do things'," Snr Const Hughes said.
Jones went on to tell officers "people with guns" and someone named "fat Darren" were chasing him.
"The moment he jumped out in front of me I swerved to miss it, then the devil set my car on fire," Snr Const Hughes quoted.
Jones said he had tried to put out the fire with his hands "but the mud guards were very hot".
The court then heard investigators believed Jones drove through a barbed wire fence, then drove in circles in a paddock, before driving back through the fence, across the road, through another barbed wire fence and drove more circles in another paddock.
The car then became stuck in long grass before catching alight.
Defence solicitor Raymond Taylor of RJ Taylor Law said Jones had not driven since the incident and was receiving mental health treatment.
Magistrate Simon Young said the 34-year-old, who is receiving Centrelink benefits, wouldn't be suitable for a fine as the law would require it be "massive".
"Perhaps a probation order is to everyone's benefit, including you," he said.
Jones' licence was disqualified for 12 months and he was placed on 12 months probation.