A drug addict who went on a criminal "rampage" and doused a stranger in diesel fuel at a Canberra petrol station is fortunate he didn't kill anyone, a magistrate has told a court.
Benjamin James Petterson, 35, fronted the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday, having previously pleaded guilty to endangering someone's safety, common assault, and two driving charges.
The prosecution withdrew another eight charges against Petterson in January.
CCTV played to the court on Tuesday showed Petterson driving into the 7-Eleven at Casey on February 8, 2019, and parking a white Toyota Land Cruiser ute close to another vehicle.
Petterson then got out of the Land Cruiser and took out a diesel fuel pump, before climbing over the back of the ute with the pump, and knocking on the driver's side window of the next vehicle.
The driver opened his door and Petterson poured diesel on him. Magistrate Bernadette Boss on Tuesday said the act would have "completely terrified" Petterson's victim.
"It's a completely random, unprovoked attack on people who appear to be going about their business," Dr Boss told Petterson in court.
"You are very fortunate that nobody was killed or seriously injured ... innocent people could have lost their lives."
The CCTV showed Petterson getting back into the Land Cruiser and driving off, before returning to the car spot soon after. His female passenger attempted to light a tampon on fire and threw it out the Land Cruiser's window - it didn't ignite, and landed on the victim's car bonnet.
Defence lawyer Ken Archer on Tuesday conceded Petterson's actions were "completely random" during what Dr Boss described as "something of a rampage" on February 8, 2019.
About 10 minutes after the attack at the petrol station, Petterson crashed into two cars that were stationary at a traffic light.
"He apparently attempted to drive through [the cars]," Mr Archer said.
"[There was] no expectation he would fit through them."
Mr Archer said Petterson was having a psychotic episode when the incidents happened.
He said Petterson had longstanding mental health issues and struggled with substance abuse, but he was addressing both issues at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.
In sentencing Petterson for the four charges - which included reckless driving and not giving his particulars after a crash - Dr Boss took into account visitor restrictions at the jail because of coronavirus.
She conceded the restrictions might make time in custody "harder" for people.
Dr Boss sentenced Petterson to a total 18 months in jail, with the sentence suspended from June 30 upon him entering into a good behaviour order. She said Petterson's time behind bars, rather than out on a suspended sentence, would have been longer if not for coronavirus.
As of Tuesday, Petterson had spent 152 days in jail for the offences.