Alleged arsonist on bail over fire

WITH his burned hands covered by pink medical gloves, a New Brighton man accused of trying to set alight the Liquid nightclub at Byron Bay with a can of spray paint has been granted conditional bail by a Lismore Local Court magistrate.

Benjamin Abrahams, 31, is charged with maliciously dam- aging property with intent to endanger life; and maliciously destroy/damage the nightclub property between 2.15am and 2.40am on April 17.

He was arrested by police after turning up at the Byron Bay hospital the same morning seeking medical treatment for burns. He was also covered in fluorescent green paint.

Abrahams appeared before Magistrate Robyn Denes on Monday by way of video link-up with a Sydney jail, with the Crown opposing bail.

Defence lawyer John Hennessy said his client would live with his girlfriend at their rented New Brighton home and if granted bail would be able to ride his bicycle to Brunswick Heads to report to police.

He would agree not to enter Byron Bay.

Mr Hennessy said Abrahams had given up drinking alcohol and would not consume it if given bail. He said the Crown might find it hard to prove the more serious charge of intent.

“He has little recollection of events,” Mr Hennessy said. “He has a Western Australian police record, mainly for driving matters.”

Mr Hennessy said his client was a self-employed contract cleaner and was willing to continue that work around the Brunswick Heads area.

He said Abraham’s girlfriend would lodge a cash surety and also his father, who lived in Tamworth. His client was also willing to surrender his vehicle if further bail was required.

Ms Denes granted conditional bail, with Abraham’s to rep- ort daily to police and not be absent from his home between 7pm and 7am unless with his girlfriend. The case was adjourned to June.

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