Court bail refused for man

A 17-YEAR-OLD man was so intoxicated early Sunday morning he couldn’t recall to police whether he had set fire to a pile of grass and leaves at a Sunflower Place home when questioned about the incident just hours later.

Gary McAvoy’s application to be released on bail was strongly opposed by prosecutions in the Emerald Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Emergency services were called to a Sunflower Pl home around 5.15am Sunday with reports of arson, but enroute to the scene, police and witnesses spotted a male in a dark coloured hoodie running down an alley away from the area.

Officers failed to locate the man.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene and determined a pile of grass and leaves had been lit using an accelerant.

As a result of police investigations, McAvoy was charged with one count of arson, remanded in custody and issued a notice to appear in the Emerald Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

McAvoy was walked into court by two uniformed officers and sat handcuffed in the dock while solicitor Elvina Ogil petitioned the court for his bail release and recommended her client receive assistance from probation services.

Sergeant Kevin Ongheen told the court McAvoy posed a severe risk to the wider community and tendered three photographs to the court which he said showed the damage caused by the blaze.

He told the court McAvoy was known to the homeowners and had gotten into a disagreement with them prior to the fire being lit.

Ms Ogil said her client, supported by relatives in the courtroom, intended to plead guilty to the single charge of arson, and appealed to Magistrate Cameron Press to release McAvoy.

She said it would be suitable for him to be under strict bail conditions and a curfew.

But Mgst Press rejected the application and said, in his summation of the bail application, that McAvoy was a “danger and posed a risk to the wider public”.

McAvoy is due to appear before the court on September 5.

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