Teen gets probation for lighting Wondunna grass fires

A TEENAGER has been placed on 12 months probation for lighting two grass fires in Wondunna.

Christopher Junior Dizon Couper, 17, pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Thursday to two counts of lighting an unauthorised fire.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Michael Quirk said firefighters were called to grass land in Wondunna about 12.30pm on September 18 to extinguish two fires in bushland near Gilston and Doolong roads.

"Fire communications said the fires were deliberately lit," he said.

Sgt Quirk said firefighters told police they had seen Couper in the area watching the fires.

He said police had also received a call from Couper's father who said his son had threatened to light fires after an argument at home.

Police saw Couper in the area and questioned him about the fires.

"Before being handcuffed he produced a red BIC lighter and threw it at the feet of police officers," he said.

Defence solicitor John McDuff said Couper was a "troubled young man" who was completing Year 12.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell condemned Couper's actions. "Anyone knows that particularly with the dry season we have had there is potential to cause damage," he said.

He ordered Couper serve 12 months probation.



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