Crushed: The scene at Teralba after a house was demolished. Picture: Simone De PeakIT was a meticulous and determined plan to cause “maximum damage” as part of some “irrational desire” to exact revenge against a family he once called his friends.
But Jamie Sager, the man who went on a bulldozing rampage at Teralba on June 8, 2015 –drivinginto, over and through a family’s home after flattening four cars and a boat –drew the line at endangering any human life.
That is what Mr Sager told police during an interview more than two years ago and on Monday his legal representative, Public Defender Peter Krisenthal, echoed those sentiments in Newcastle District Court.
His actions that morning were criminal, Mr Krisenthal said.
There was no issue about that.
They were unjustified and unacceptable, he told the jury.
That is not in dispute.
But as much as Mr Sager hated the family who lived at the house on The Weir Road, he would never hurt them.
Before: The house before the bulldozer.
The 50-year-old has pleaded not guilty to destroying property with intent to endanger life.
The sole issue at the week-long trial has been what Mr Sager’s intention was at the time he put the bulldozer through the house.
The prosecution says he intended to endanger the lives of at least one of the three occupants.
After: Crushed: The scene at Teralba after the house was demolished. Picture: Simone De Peak
Crown prosecutor Brian Costello told the jury during his closing address that Mr Sager knew the family was still inside the house when he began demolishing it.
Mr Costello said Mr Sager had waited for them to flee, but “in an angry and agitated state” became impatient and drove straight through the wall of the house.
Mr Krisenthal, during his closing address, read directly from the transcript of Mr Sager’s police interview.
“The family all came out of their house,” Mr Krisenthal told the jury, relayingMr Sager’s words.
“I made sure everyone was out of the house when I trashed the three cars.
“I knew who lived there and I made sure that, yeah, they were out of the house.
DEMOLISHED: The aftermath of the bulldozer attack in The Weir Road at Teralba on June 8, 2015. Picture: Simone De Peak
“That’s why I hit the cars first because I knew when I hit the cars they’ll come out of the house.
“Even though I hate what they’ve done and despise them, I still wouldn’t hurt them.
“I wanted to hurt their premises. “I chose to make them lose everything because of what they made me lose.”
Mr Krisenthal said those few sentences were, essentially, a summary of the defence case.
Judge Tanya Bright will continue summing up the caseon Tuesday morning before the jury retires to consider its verdict.
The Herald, Newcastle