Man in court for first time after fire that killed pet dog
A MAN charged with causing a house fire which killed a pet dog has faced court for the first time.
Isaac Lehane, 25, from Mullumbimby, appeared physically unwell when he appeared before Byron Bay Local Court on Monday.
Police will allege Mr Lehane, who was charged in early November, intentionally or recklessly destroyed a home on Tyagarah Rd in Myocum by fire, with intent to cause bodily injury.
Emergency services were called to the property in the early hours of Tuesday, September 17, 2019.
When they arrived, they found the home was well alight.
Police will allege Mr Lehane set the fire, which destroyed the home.
While all human occupants, including three men, escaped uninjured, the family dog died in the fire, police have said.
Following the blaze, a crime scene was established and after an investigation by officers attached to Tweed Byron Police District, Mr Lehane was arrested at a Mullumbimby home on November 4.
He was granted strict conditional bail to face Byron Bay Local Court on Monday.
In court, defence solicitor Kate Brady lodged a plea of not guilty on behalf of Mr Lehane, who she noted appeared "very unwell".
When he stood to face the court, the accused appeared physically unwell and said: "I think I might have a seizure".
He explained to the court he was expecting his psychologist and drug and alcohol counsellor to be present with him, but they were not.
Magistrate Karen Stafford ordered police to file their brief of evidence by January 11, 2021 and she adjourned the case to February 1.
Mr Lehane's remains on conditional bail, which prohibits him from trying to contact four identified prosecution witnesses or from going within 200 metres of the Myocum home.