Accused fake firey a ‘significant liar’
AN ALLEGED fraudster accused of impersonating a NSW Rural Fire Service officer has faced court.
Andrew Geoffrey Stevenson, 36, had been earlier granted bail for previous charges which police laid on November 12, having executed a search warrant at his Koonorigan home after reports he claimed to be representing the RFS on the Northern Rivers between November 8 and 10.
At that time, he was charged with dishonestly obtaining property by deception, renewing registration by false statement and having goods in personal custody suspected being stolen.
When Mr Stevenson attended Lismore Police Station on Monday, further charges were laid, including he impersonated an organisation officer to exercise a function, two counts of performing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice, wilfully swearing falsely in an affidavit and two counts of publishing false or misleading material to obtain an advantage and he was taken back into custody.
When Mr Stevenson appeared in the dock of Lismore Local Court dock yesterday, defence barrister Peter O'Connor applied for bail on his behalf.
Mr O'Connor cited explanations relating to some of the allegations, including to alleged false information filed in response to a speeding fine.
Mr O'Connor said his client had several occupations, including being an "educator", a tree-lopper and "involved in the adventure sport activity industry", and was due to face a hearing for a trespass allegations in Tweed Heads next week. He argued at least some of the charges arose from misunderstandings.
The court heard Mr Stevenson had hoped to launch a private business, and his services would include helping landowners with hazard reduction burns under the name "NSW Bush Fire Brigades".
"He's obviously attracted … very much unwanted attention," Mr O'Connor said.
"He's realised whatever's happening, people are certainly misinterpreting what's going on."
Magistrate Jeff Linden said the allegations before him suggested the accused was also "a significant liar".
The police prosecutor told the court Mr Stevenson was "being dishonest".
"People are not misinterpreting what he's saying," he said.
"People are being deceived by what he's doing."
Mr Linden said "dishonesty in dealing with the public and dishonesty in dealing with certain organisations" were common threads in all the allegations before the court.
He refused bail and adjourned the matter to December 18.