A Bronto skiylift from the Gold CoaST as at the scene of the St Carthage's Cathedral fire so firefighters can assess damage to the roof.
A Bronto skiylift from the Gold CoaST as at the scene of the St Carthage's Cathedral fire so firefighters can assess damage to the roof.

Man accused of burning down beloved cathedral faces court

THE man accused of setting a beloved Lismore cathedral alight has been denied bail.

Stephen Anthony Luke, 45, was arrested on Saturday on Magellan St, Lismore, following an investigation into the fire at St Carthage's Cathedral in Lismore.

A taser was used to subdue Mr Luke after he allegedly threatened officers with a large knife.

Following inquiries, police will alleged they determined Mr Luke was also connected to other crimes across the state.

Police will allege Mr Luke committed a series of offences across NSW this week, starting in Griffith.

 

A view of the damaged roof at St Carthage's Cathedral, Lismore.
A view of the damaged roof at St Carthage's Cathedral, Lismore.

 

It's alleged he approached a 20-year-old woman in a car park on Canal St at Griffith on Monday, September 14.

He allegedly threatened the woman with a knife before demanding she give him the car keys. He then fled the area in her Volkswagen Polo, along with her handbag containing personal items.

Following the carjacking, it's alleged Mr Luke then approached a 23-year-old woman outside a shopping centre at Hornsby and threatened her with a large knife. He demanded she hand over her cash but she was able to flee without handing over any of her possessions.

Police will claim Mr Luke then travelled to Lismore and set fire to St Carthage's Cathedral in Lismore.

Multiple fire crews were called to the cathedral about 6.30am on Friday, September 18 and managed to extinguish the blaze.

He was charged with damaging more than $15,000 worth of property with fire, using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, two counts of assault with intent to rob armed with an offensive weapon, armed robbery using with offensive weapon, two counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception-and larceny.

Mr Luke was bail refused by the Lismore Registrar on Sunday, September 20.

He will appear at Lismore Local Court on Monday, September 21 for committal.



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