Man 'tried to kill family': court
A MAN was so drunk he had a "conversation with himself" about whether to kill his family before turning on four gas jets on their Burpengary home's stove.
The man, who was 25 at the time, had two sleeping children, aged two and four, and a pregnant wife in the house.
He was jailed for three years when he pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday to attempting to injure them through releasing a noxious substance, liquid petroleum gas.
Justice Martin Daubney said the fact the children were inside the house on June 17, 2010, was an aggravating feature because they could have been in danger if they had ingested the gas.
He said the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his children, had a long history of alcohol problems.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller had told the court how the pair had a tumultuous on-off relationship marred by domestic violence since they met in August, 2004.
He said the woman had moved back into the man's home with the children not long before the gas incident while they waited for alternative accommodation.
Mr Fuller said the man became angry when he found a male friend of his former wife in his home and was upset she was considering aborting their third child because she did not think she could cope raising another baby.
He said the man had called his partner a whore and a slut while drinking himself into a rum-induced stupor.
Mr Fuller said the woman heard the man talking to himself, saying things like "Maybe I could burn the place down" and "just kill them all" followed by "no, you can't" and "yes, you can".
The woman, who called police, had gone into the kitchen to turn the four gas burners off three times because a safety switch was faulty.
She said her partner had asked her for a cigarette lighter just before police arrived.
Defence barrister Peter Kelly said his client, a cabinet maker and a boner, had no recollection of his actions that night but he wanted to get help for his alcohol addiction.
"It's difficult to know what was going through his mind," he said.
"He said he loves his children dearly. He believes in the cockles of his heart that he would not have done anything to harm them.
"His poison is alcohol and he wants to do something about it."
The man will be released on parole a week before Christmas, having already served about six months behind bars.