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Salvos shed fire accused granted bail

BAIL has been granted to a Bundaberg youth charged in relation to the fire which destroyed a shed full of goods for flood victims at the old showgrounds.
BAIL has been granted to a Bundaberg youth charged in relation to the fire which destroyed a shed full of goods for flood victims at the old showgrounds.

BAIL has been granted to a Bundaberg youth charged in relation to the fire which destroyed a shed full of goods for flood victims at the old showgrounds.

Appearing in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court today, the court also lifted a suppression order on the 17-year-old's name.

Year 12 student Richard John Collins has been charged with one count of arson following the blaze on July 12, that destroyed the shed's contents of donated goods and building materials which were being distributed via the Salvation Army.

Collins, who has two cochlear implants and an intellectual impairment, previously appeared in court on Friday but a suppression order prevented his name being released.

But Magistrate Deb Vasta yesterday chose to remove the suppression order in the interest of transparency.

Collins sat in the court supported by his family as Ms Vasta read him the conditions of his bail, with an Auslan interpreter ensuring Collins completely understood the proceedings.

"You have now spent four days in the watch house," Mrs Vasta said.

"If you don't comply with the bail conditions you will remain in custody in Maryborough until your charges are dealt with."

Collins will have to report to police once a week and will have a 9pm curfew unless accompanied by his mother or grandfather.

Duty lawyer Rian Dwyer argued to keep his client's name suppressed as he was still in school but Ms Vasta refused, saying she had initially imposed the suppression order last Friday until further information was submitted, but she felt there were no grounds to keep the order imposed.

"It's important the courts are open and transparent," she said.

Collins will appear in court again on September 4.

Topics:  bail, bundaberg magistrates court, fire




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