Lismore Court House in Zadoc Street.
Lismore Court House in Zadoc Street. Marc Stapelberg

He tried to burn his ex's house down - with her in it

A MAN tried to burn down his ex-partner's home while she was inside, three days after being served with an apprehended violence order protecting her.

The 49-year-old faced Lismore Local Court via video link from Cessnock Correctional Centre on Tuesday. He had pleaded guilty to two counts of contravening an AVO, two counts of stalking or intimidation, damaging property by fire and possessing a prohibited drug.

According to court documents, the victim ended a relationship with the accused three days before the incident and he was served with an interim apprehended violence order that same day.

But he began texting her, then calling her, from about 10am on December 26.

The court heard he told her: "I'm going to get my friends to bash you, I'm going to burn your house down".

He then went to her Northern Rivers home and told her "you're a dog and my friends are going to bash you".

When she locked herself and her two children inside the home to wait for police, he lit a fire in a cardboard box, containing weatherboard sheets, on the rear verandah.

Defence solicitor Thomas Trembath said his client was seeking help for alcohol and drug issues, but couldn't get a bed in rehab until September.

"He has a long-standing alcohol and drug problem," Mr Trembath said.

"What we're asking for is that he be allowed bail in the interim."

Magistrate David Heilpern said if he released the man, he had no power to compel him to turn up at rehab.

"Pre-sentence reports and drug and alcohol reports have all indicated the defendant has a dreadful drug and alcohol problem," Mr Heilpern said.

"The sad fact is that it's easier for people to be sent to jail than it is to be sent to rehab.

"Jails have to accept them, but rehabs have limited space."

"If he had a place in rehab, I'd grant him bail and I doubt it'd be opposed. Without a place in rehab, there's unacceptable risk."

He was given a 12 month term of imprisonment backdated to December 26, when he was arrested. He will be eligible for release from next Friday.

For his suspended sentences, he was re-sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, which expired on April 25.

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