Drug-crazed lotto winner torches car and parents’ house
A Lotto winner who became a drug addict set fire to his own car, sparking a blaze that burnt down his parents' Gold Coast home.
The bizarre case has been revealed in Southport District Court, where Stephen James Wong pleaded guilty to endangering property by fire and breaching a domestic violence order.
The court heard Wong, 35, had a "significant win" on Lotto and was receiving $75,000 a year in income, some of which he spent on illicit drugs.
He was in a drug-crazed state when he rang police at 5am on September 19, 2019, to complain that he was being threatened by balaclava-clad intruders at his father's Pimpama home where he was living.
The court heard that the "intruders" were "entirely a product of (his) delusional state of mind" and police left, only for Wong to call the fire brigade about two-and-a-half-hours later.
Wong had set fire to his car in the garage which spread to the home, causing more than $520,000 damage.
He denied starting the fire, telling police he had squirted fuel at the "intruders".
Police found messages to his ex-partner on his phone in breach of a domestic violence order.
The court heard that Wong suffered from mental illness worsened by his drug use, had an extensive criminal history and was on bail and under an intensive community correction order when he burnt down the house.
Judge David Kent QC said Wong would have been able to use his mental illness as a defence had he not also been on drugs.
He said Wong had "a lot of money" from his Lotto win "and was able to spend a lot of it on drugs" but most of his possessions were destroyed in the fire.
Wong was sentenced to three years' probation.
Originally published as Drug-crazed lotto winner torches car, parents' house