News

Accused arsonist applies for work license

HIS business was burnt out in June but that hasn't stop accused A1 Auto arsonist Jamie Brown from applying for a work licence.

A bizarre application, tabled in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Wednesday, outlined Brown's apparent need to drive around the region and as far away as Brisbane on a regular basis to maintain "strong relations" for the business.

Brown, who stands accused of orchestrating an arson attack on the store in an attempt to access a $1 million insurance payout, was previously disqualified from driving.

He told the court his father had recently had a stroke and was unable to drive and he was attempting to get the business "back up and running" for him.

When Magistrate Graeme Tatnell said he would have thought Brown's ability to earn a living from the business would have ended in June, he replied that while the "retail" side of things wasn't currently running, he still "trying to get stock to suppliers".

Mr Tatnell said he could only grant work licences in cases where refusal would deprive the applicant of their means and he didn't believe Brown had grounds to apply.

He suggested Brown would have been better off accepting the original disqualification as by now, he "would already be halfway through it allowed Brown one final extension to produce pay slips and further proof of employment.

Brown is charged with three counts of arson and fraud over the fire which gutted the store and damaged two neighbouring businesses.

His brother in law, Tony Baker, also faces the same charges and is due to front the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Suspected arsonist Jamie Brown leaves the Hervey Bay Courthouse after applying for a work licence.
Suspected arsonist Jamie Brown leaves the Hervey Bay Courthouse after applying for a work licence. Valerie Horton

Topics:  fire, hervey bay, hervey bay magistrates court, pialba, shops



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