Police skip a step with fresh charge against arson accused
Police have incorrectly filed a second charge against a man accused of setting a Byron hinterland home alight, a court has heard.
Isaac Lehane, 25, from Mullumbimby, is facing a charge of intentionally or recklessly destroying a home by fire with intent to cause bodily injury.
The charge relates to a blaze which destroyed a home on Tyagarah Rd in Myocum in the early hours of Tuesday, September 17, 2019.
Police will allege a pet dog died in the blaze.
Mr Lehane was arrested over the alleged incident on November 4 last year.
When he faced Byron Bay Local Court for the second time on Monday, Magistrate Karen Stafford queried whether a second charge now before her had been served upon the defence.
Solicitor Kim Ivosevac said she had been put on notice about her client's new charge of destroying or damaging property.
"There seems to be a bit of a problem with police filing things in court - which they haven't been permitted to do for years - and not serving it on the defence," Ms Stafford said.
"It's going to get to the stage where I'm going to refuse to receive any of these charges."
Ms Stafford said as the second charge had not been served upon Mr Lehane's lawyer, she would not accept it as a formal charge before the court.
"Things have to be done properly," she said.
Ms Stafford adjourned the case to February 22 and ordered the accused to be assessed under the Magistrate's Early Referral Into Treatment program.
Mr Lehane has not yet entered any formal pleas.