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Indian torched car to get insurance money for holiday

Melbourne, May 3, 2010: 

An Indian man, who claimed to be a racist attack victim after suffering burns while setting alight his car in this Australian city, wanted to fund a holiday to India with the insurance claim, a court here was told.

Jaspreet Singh, 28, had initially told the police that he was set afire after he parked his car near his Essendon home Jan 8. He suffered burns to his arms, feet, neck, face and scalp.

Investigations, however, revealed that Singh got burnt while setting ablaze his Ford sedan, The Age reported Monday.

Singh wanted to claim the insurance money so that he could fund a holiday to India, the Melbourne Magistrates Court was informed.

He failed "to consider atmospheric conditions … (and) a vapour explosion occurred", Senior Constable Luke Devlin was quoted as telling the court Monday.

Paul McClure, defence lawyer, said Singh was facing a financial crisis as his business had collapsed and he planned to use the burnt car claim insurance.

Singh's behaviour was a planned and premeditated enterprise, said deputy chief magistrate Felicity Broughton.

Broughton said for Singh to have claimed that he was a racist attack victim when there was tension between Australia and India was a cynical action.

She imposed an aggregate jail term of eight months suspended for two years. She, however, she said if Singh had not pleaded guilty, he would have been jailed for 15 months.