AN Orange teenager has faced court charged with deliberately starting a fire in January on a hot summer day during a total fire ban.
Police allege the 17-year-old juvenile, who cannot be named because of his age, stood and watched the fire get out of control without calling emergency services.
Instead, say police, the accused stood on the opposite side of the road watching the fire burn.
It destroyed about a tenth of a hectare before it was brought under control.
Police say the fire started sometime after 8.40pm on January 8 after the teenager had left his home on his mountain bike in east Orange to ride to a friend’s place.
On the way back home as he crossed Bathurst Road police claim the juvenile pulled out a box of matches and began flicking lighted matches into the grass at his feet.
They say when one of the matches ignited the grass the juvenile initially tried to stamp the fire out with his foot. However when he was unsuccessful police say the accused “took off” without trying to alert anyone to the fire.
Police say the fire took hold quickly, fuelled by strong winds, and when they arrived they saw the accused standing across the road and went over to interview him.
In evidence before the court police said the juvenile made “certain admissions” at the scene before he was arrested.
Police also said the fire had the potential to destroy nearby houses if it had not been brought under control.
Magistrate Bruce Williams adjourned the case until next month so a Juvenile Justice report on the teenager could be prepared.
The accused, who attended court accompanied by his mother, entered a plea of guilty through his solicitor Rebecca McIlveen.