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April 12, 2021

Goonellabah man to face hearing over allegedly destroying home by fire

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fireA Goonellabah man who allegedly destroyed part of a home after fire took hold from him flicking lit cigarettes will face a hearing on Friday.

Benjamin James Green appeared in Lismore Local Court on Monday charged with damaging property by fire causing greater than $15,000 damage.

It is alleged the 34-year-old ‘did intentionally or recklessly destroy by means of fire certain property, to wit, 5 Eggins Place Goonellabah, the property of NSW Housing Commission.’

Police received a phone call about a fire just before 12.30am on September 23, 2016, at a home in Eggins Place Goonellabah.

When police arrived they saw the fire brigade were in attendance and the premises had been partially destroyed by fire.

Officers noted the damage appeared to be contained to the front right hand side of the home.

Mr Green an his partner were taken to Lismore police station on the night of the blaze and provided statements about the incident.

The following afternoon Mr Green’s partner allegedly went to Lismore police station.

‘I lied to you in my statement yesterday, he did it,’ police allege Mr Green’s partner said.

‘He f**king lit the fire.’

When police asked who lit the fire his partner allegedly said ‘Ben did flicking his fucking cigarettes.’

Mr Green was arrested two days after the fire, on September 25, and taken to Lismore police station where he was charged and granted conditional bail.

Court documents reveal Mr Green allegedly breached his bail by moving residence without notifying police between May 31 and June 3 this year.

He was granted conditional bail on June 5 to report to Kyogle police on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and reside at the Toonumbar Dam camp ground.

On Monday Magistrate David Heilpern confirmed Mr Green’s plea of not guilty and adjourned his matter until Friday, for hearing.

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