News

Alleged $100k arsonist applied to go to Schoolies

A 17-YEAR-OLD Bundaberg man who allegedly lit a fire which caused $100,000 damage to a Salvation Army shed has had an application to vary his bail conditions so he could attend schoolies celebrations refused.

Richard John Collins fronted Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday where his lawyer Rian Dwyer made the application.

An Auslan Interpreter was on hand to ensure Collins, who suffers a hearing impairment, understood the proceedings.

Mr Dwyer told the court Collins was currently under strict residential, reporting and curfew bail conditions and requested the court consider changing those to enable the year 12 student to participate in post-school celebrations on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Dwyer said the Scripture Union run camp had leaders and volunteers as part of the event and argued his client could still be subjected to curfew conditions during the camp.

Mr Dwyer said the current bail conditions were strict for a 17 year old He said his client had not breached the conditions since they were put in place on July 27.

"There is nothing to suggest Mr Collins is going to use this opportunity to go on a massive crime spree," he said.

But Police prosecutor Sergeant Vicki Kennedy-Grills objected to any variation and said the camp volunteers and group leaders would have no actual power over Collins. 

She said of the 600 participants attending, a percentage was high risk youth and there was the potential for Collins to bow to peer pressure if he was not under responsible supervision.

Magistrate Aaron Simpson refused the application saying while bail wasn't a punishment, it was about addressing the offender's risk of re-offending.

He said Collins appeared to be easily lead and felt he was at risk of re-offending if the bail conditions were varied.

Topics:  salvation army, schoolies



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