Investigators at the scene of the house fire in Gaydon Street, Newtown.
Investigators at the scene of the house fire in Gaydon Street, Newtown. Bev Lacey

Man accused of torching home said he was bored: Police

A MAN accused of setting fire to the Newtown house he was living in allegedly told police boredom had driven him to it.

Robert Lawrence Burke, 32, formerly of the Gaydon St residence seriously damaged by fire Wednesday night, allegedly told police he torched the home because he didn't want to live in the Goolburri Regional Housing Company home anymore and that he was bored.

Police claim Burke had taken a plastic spray bottle which he filled with fuel from a lawn mower in the yard before bringing the bottle back into the home.

He allegedly told police he had punched holes in the walls and spread paper about the home before igniting the curtains and other items in the house with a cigarette lighter.

It is believed he then left the house and walked to a pizza shop on the corner of Holberton and Taylor Sts where he asked to use the business's telephone to call an ambulance.

He was arrested by police called to the pizza shop and subsequently charged with one count of arson.

During a brief mention of the matter before Toowoomba Magistrates Court, Burke's solicitor Brad Skuse said he did not require his client to be brought up from the watch house into court.

Mr Skuse said his client, who had been in contact with the Mental Health Unit in Toowoomba recently, would not be applying for bail at this stage and asked for a month's adjournment.

Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck therefore remanded Burke in custody and adjourned the case for mention back in the same court on May 14.



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