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Teen on arson charge

A teen has faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court over the fire at the old showgrounds last weekend.
A teen has faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court over the fire at the old showgrounds last weekend. Mike Knott

A TEENAGER with a hearing impairment has appeared in court charged with lighting the fire that destroyed the pavilion at the old showgrounds.

The 17 year old, who cannot be named due to a court-imposed suppression order, has been charged with one count of arson following the blaze that was allegedly lit last Saturday.

The fire destroyed the shed's contents of donated goods and building materials which were being distributed via the Salvation Army.

He appeared in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday morning, after being charged late Thursday, but proceedings were briefly stood down while an Auslan interpreter was sought.

Upon the interpreter's arrival, the court proceedings resumed when Magistrate Deb Vasta asked whether the teen would be making an application for bail.

"The police are objecting to your bail," Mrs Vasta said.

Duty lawyer Rian Dwyer then informed Mrs Vasta the accused hadn't made a decision about whether or not he would apply for bail.

"He just won't make that decision," he said.

Court was again stood down while Mr Dwyer and the interpreter had a second discussion with the defendant.

"There are some issues here that are very concerning," Mrs Vasta said.

Mr Dwyer said the teen was supported by members of the school he attends.

When Mr Dwyer and the interpreter returned, Mr Dwyer said his client still wouldn't make a decision about applying for bail.

Mr Dwyer also made an application for the identity of the alleged arsonist to be suppressed due to his young age and because he was still a school student.

Mrs Vasta then remanded the young man in custody, and ordered he reappear via videolink from the Maryborough Correctional Centre on July 22.

"I'm not having him in the watchhouse all weekend," she said.

But following requests by Mr Dwyer to have his client appear in Bundaberg that day, Mrs Vasta agreed.

Topics:  arson bundaberg magistrates court



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