An Irish national armed himself with an iron bar during a "push and shove" at a Cobden pub that ended in him setting his employer's car alight. Ross Stirling, 25, was at Thommo's Hotel in Curdies Street on June 9, 2023, when an incident occurred between him and work colleagues about 9.30pm. Stirling suffered a split eyebrow and left the hotel before returning 15 minutes later armed with a large iron bar, the Warrnambool Magistrates Court heard on December 4. He stormed inside and attempted to get into the bar area. Stirling threatened to shoot one of the victims, as well as his partner and boss. A witness grabbed the iron bar from the man and handed it to bar staff. Stirling was asked to leave the premises. He got into a green hatch owned by his employer and was urged not to drive as he was intoxicated. But he did, speeding towards Colac on the Cobden-Stonyford Road. He turned onto Thorntons Road, stopping the car and stuffing the fuel tank with rags, which he ignited with a cigarette lighter before fleeing on foot. The car went up in flames and was completely destroyed. Stirling pleaded guilty on December 4 to arson and other offences. The court heard he was significantly alcohol affected at the time of the offending, which police prosecutor Jacqui Joseph deemed "significant". "(The car) was completely destroyed and in the photos you can see it's surrounded by long grass," she said. "Bushfires are a huge issue around this area and we're very lucky that the fire was just confined to the vehicle." Ms Joseph said it was also lucky Stirling did not seriously injure or kill someone on the roads. "The road toll is at an all time high. It's all over the news," she said. The man was not charged with drink-driving. Lawyer Jarrod Lee, representing Stirling, said his client was currently stuck in "awkward visa limbo" as his youth visa had ended and he awaited sponsorship. He said Stirling was strongly supported by his current employer. Magistrate Franz Holzer said the offending was serious and dangerous, and could see Stirling jailed. But he said he was willing to defer sentencing until February and urged the man to be on his best behaviour until then. Stirling, who is prohibited from returning to Ireland, will face court again next year.