Tragic end after bail release

A WOMAN accused of setting fire to her ex-boyfriend’s Aldershot home has taken her own life just a day after she was released on bail.

When Lorraine Catherine Smith appeared in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on December 15, the prosecution opposed bail, saying there was a risk Ms Smith would commit suicide.

The court heard that Ms Smith, 38, had made threats to take her life after she was arrested on December 14 and prosecutor Senior Constable Jeanette Grigoris requested she remain in police custody “for her own safety”.

But Magistrate Tom Killeen allowed bail, saying prisons were not garbage bins for people with mental health problems.

He also said that if someone wanted to commit suicide they “might find the means to do so” whether in custody or not.

Ms Smith was released on bail to live with her sister and brother-in-law in Maryborough.

Her body was found the next day and police have confirmed that the death was not suspicious.

The court was told that Ms Smith was scheduled to have a meeting with the mental health unit at Maryborough Hospital on the day her body was found.

She was due to re-appear in court in February on five charges including attempted arson, attempted enter dwelling with intent and wilful damage.

The charges related to a December 13 fire at her ex-boyfriend’s Smelter Street house, which she allegedly started because the man had formed a new relationship.

A cremation service for her was held at the Maryborough Crematorium yesterday. Ms Smith leaves behind an 11-year-old son.

Family members yesterday declined to comment.



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