Cockatoo man jailed for setting victim alight


A man who deliberately lit fire to a car with a person asleep inside it has been sentenced to a decade in jail.

Cockatoo man, David Hayden Maddocks, was charged with one count of intentionally causing serious injury.

Victim Phillip Payet was working on his new car on a nature strip outside his Frankston home on 26 December 2016, the Victorian County Court heard.

The 39-year-old fell asleep but woke up not long after, feeling cold, wet and covered in petrol about 2.30am on 26 December.

He exited the vehicle and screamed for help, but before he knew it, his entire body was engulfed in flames.

The victim was left fighting for his life while Maddocks, and his co-offender Clinton Richard Phillips, asked their girlfriends, who were waiting in cars nearby, to drive them away from the scene.

“I just want you to know I am going to get you one way or the other and I will wait 10 years if I have to,” Maddocks warned Mr Payet in a letter prior to the incident.

Maddocks was sentenced to jail in the County Court on Thursday 17 September.

He will serve seven-and-a-half years before he is eligible for parole.

Co-offender Phillips was previously sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

“The facts in this case are horrific. Your behaviour was despicable and cruel,” County Court Judge Rachelle Lewitan said in sentencing Maddocks.

Judge Lewitan said the victim of Maddock’s crime has “suffered considerably”.

“A victim impact statement filed by Payet speaks of the excruciating pain he suffered when he was engulfed by flames and could not open the doors of the car,” she told the court.

“Once he came out of the coma he was on suicide watch every day because he could not come to terms with what was happening.

“He said that he looks like a “freak show” and feels that he is a burden on everyone.”

Mr Payet suffered extensive deep burns to about 68 percent of his body, predominately to his upper torso.

He also sustained a severe inhalation injury, Judge Lewitan said.

Mr Payet’s partner was continually told by doctors that he would not make it and to prepare for his death.

The court heard of Maddock’s personal history and circumstances, including the fact his dad, who was a high-ranking Hells Angels, was murdered in front of him when he was just four-years-old.

His mum had difficulty dealing with the death and turned to alcohol and substance abuse.

Maddocks was placed into foster care and was on the streets from the age of 12, when he started using cannabis and then moved on to harder drugs, the court was told.

All up, Maddocks has accumulated 155 prior convictions through 17 court appearances.

He has previously served time in prison for burning down a shed in reaction to a dispute that his sister had with a neighbour over a horse.

Since being locked up, the court heard Maddocks has enrolled in a communication university course, as well as drug and alcohol programs.

He has also been creating art and selling it, with the proceeds being used to support his 12-year-old son and the Smith Family Charity and Royal Children’s Hospital.