Man faces court on 20 charges

A LISMORE pensioner accused of pouring methylated spirits on to the face of a female friend and setting it alight remains in jail after a police search of his caravan discovered $32,000 in cash in a safe, alleged to be the proceeds of illegal drug activity.

Michael Latter, 44, of The Palms Caravan Park, did not apply for bail when he appeared before the Lismore Local Court yesterday on 20 charges, including assault; dealing with property suspected to be proceeds of crime; possession and supply of prohibited drugs on August 7 and 8, including crystal methamphetamine and cannabis leaf; and possession of a restricted substance – MS Contin pills.

The charges also include possession of more than 200 cannabis seeds.

Latter is alleged to have assaulted the woman at 8.30pm on August 6 in his caravan after inviting her over for a meal.

The woman told police that after ingesting Speed he became angry, and during an argument with him she claimed Latter poured a purple liquid she believed to be methylated spirits into her right eye making a threat to burn her.

She accused Latter of using a lighter to ignite the fluid causing immediate flames to her hair, right eyebrow and right eye area, but she was able to put out the flames with her hands.

The woman also accuses Latter of threatening to stab her and of holding a knife against her throat.

After the woman fled the scene and complained to police, officers went to Latter's caravan and saw some resealable plastic bags they allege held cannabis, along with a bundle of 500 empty resealable plastic bags.

A wallet found inside the van contained $1380 in cash.

Bundles of currency totalling $32,000 in $100, $50 and $20 notes were found inside a safe, along with small quantities of drugs.

The case was adjourned with defence lawyer Tom Trembath telling Magistrate Robyn Denes his client intended to make a bail application later this month.

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