Accused firebug weeps in court

Accused firebug weeps in court

17 December 2007

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Australia — A woman accused of lighting 47 bushfires in the Adelaide hills today begged for her identity to be hidden from the public.

Dressed in neat casual clothes with blonde highlights in her dark hair, housewife Helen White, 44, waved her handcuffed hands, wept and said: “Suppression, suppression, I need a suppression” after her appearance in Murray Bridge Magistrates Court this morning.

The mother of two from Harrogate was arrested at the weekend and charged with 47 counts of deliberately lighting a bushfire.

Her husband Darren was in court, as were his parents and sister.

She applied for bail but that decision will not be made until reports have been tendered on Friday.

Ms White, who had fought back tears throughout the hearing, stared at her family and wept as she begged for a suppression order.

Magistrate Derek Sprod was told by prosecutors that Ms White could be linked to “as many as 15” of the bushfires, with more links expected.

Lisa Smith, prosecuting, said “a unique ignition device” linking the fires had been found with Ms White’s fingerprints on it.

She said some of the fires put livestock, property and human lives at risk.

Mr Sprod remanded Ms White appear in Christies Beach Magistrates Court on Friday.

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