Bulldozer rampage: Australian man guilty of endangering lives

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The incident left cars flattened and a house razedImage copyrightABC/David Marchese
Image caption The incident left cars flattened and a house razed

An Australian man who used a stolen bulldozer to crush four cars, a boat and a house has been found guilty of endangering lives.

Jamie Francis Sager, 50, had admitted to the rampage in the New South Wales town of Teralba in 2015, but denied he was trying to hurt a family inside.

The three people managed to escape what prosecutors said was an act of revenge.

A jury unanimously rejected Sager’s claim that he did not know there was anyone inside at the time.

The court heard that Sager had made eye contact with one person in the house before ploughing into it.

How it unfolded

Sager had stolen the bulldozer from a nearby mine in darkness on the morning of the attack. From there, he waited until sunrise before driving to the house.

He first rammed the vehicle into the cars and the boat, leaving a trail of destruction, before turning his attention on the house.

Image copyrightABC/David Marchese
Image caption The family managed to escape before the house was knocked down

Prosecutors said he wanted to cause “maximum destruction” when he drove the bulldozer into the walls and razed the building.

Police ultimately managed to stop Sager when the bulldozer got stuck.

Sager later claimed he had not intended to hurt anyone inside the house.

“That’s why I hit the cars first because I knew when I hit the cars they’ll come out of the house,” Sager told police, according to the Newcastle Herald.

The court heard he knew the family and had an “irrational desire” to inflict revenge after perceiving he had been wronged.

The jury found Sager guilty of maliciously destroying property with the intent to endanger life, a charge carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

He will be sentenced in October.

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