An Aberglasslyn man charged with four counts of arson hasagain been refused bail after appearing via video link in Maitland Local Court.
Alex Forth, 21, of Budgeree Drive, has been charged with four counts of intentionally causing a fire and being reckless as to its spread. He has also been charged with one count of trespass.
During a bail application on WednesdayMagistrate John Chicken said a search warrant of Mr Forth’s home had allegedly uncovered several burnt pieces of paper in his bedroom.
He said it was also alleged that Mr Forth had tried to light a fire after he was arrested.
“While in custody for bushfire offences he attempted to light a small fire with leaves on the ground,” Mr Chicken said.“There was a photograph that was handed up that appears to be consistent with that description.”
Mr Chicken said these two allegations made him gravely concerned.
Mr Forth’s solicitor asked for his client to be released into the supervision of his 19-year-old girlfriend under house arrest bail.
The court heard Mr Forth’s parents could not supervise him due to holiday plans overseas but several members of his family, who attended the hearing, would be available to assist.Mr Chicken denied the request.
“It’s one thing to release a young man like this to a house arrest bail with his parents, upon whom he is reliant or is very liable, and give them the capacity to issue him direction,” Mr Chicken said.
“It is quite another to discharge him into the care of his 19-year-old girlfriend and expect her to be able to control him.Not only is there the issue of public safety … It would seem that any other occupant of his house might well be at risk.”
Mr Chicken said he was not critical of Mr Forth’s girlfriend but he was not satisfied that she was the appropriate person to be supervising the accused.He said the bail application outcome may have been different if Mr Forth’s parents were available to supervise him.
He accepted a request for Mr Forth’s mental health to be assessed.
It is alleged Mr Forth intentionally caused a fire on April 1 at Sawyers Gully, on April 15 at Barnards Road in Keinbah, on April 26 at Bishops Bridge, and on April 28 at Station Lane in Lochinvar.It is also alleged he trespassed on land at Keinbah.
He will reappear in Maitland Local Court on May 20.
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