Woman stole from home but denies starting fire

AN Orange woman  accused of setting fire to a home in Clinton Street early on Wednesday morning was refused bail in Orange Local Court yesterday.

Kim Muir, 54, pleaded guilty to stealing from the home a microwave, a pet door, a washing basket and a portable clothes line. She took the items back to her unit across the road but has denied setting the fire. 

Police allege Muir broke a flyscreen and smashed a window to gain access to the home, unwrapped the packaging of the items she stole and set fire to the rubbish in the kitchen and dining room. 

The rubbish did not ignite but a mattress in the front bedroom was set on fire and the fire quickly spread to another room. 

An audit is yet to be completed but the damage is believed to be more than $150,000. 

Police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Bobin argued in court Muir was a risk to the community and should remain behind bars until her trial. 

“She was seen by a neighbour starting a fire in her own backyard to hide what she’d stolen... the safety of the community is paramount,” he said. 

Muir’s solicitor Andrew Rolfe said his client should be given bail because the only criminal matters in her history were 30 years ago. 

Magistrate Terry Lucas said he decided to keep Muir in custody because if she was found guilty of  arson then a jail term “would most likely be the case”. 

Sergeant Bobin said police expected to retrieve more stolen items from Muir’s unit in the coming days. 

Muir appeared in court on Thursday but did not apply for bail because Mr Rolfe needed time to find an alternative address for Muir to live if bail was granted. 

The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire because the owners were renovating.

The case is before the court next in May. 

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