Australia — A Country Fire Authority volunteer charged with lighting scrub fires in Melbourne’s outer east is in a fragile mental state, a court heard.
The 36-year-old man, whose name is suppressed, appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today.
The man was arrested by police on Wednesday after seven small scrub fires were reported burning on roadsides around Mt Evelyn.
The accused is facing dozens of counts of deliberately lighting a bushfire and conduct endangering life.
His lawyer Caroline Ratcliffe-Jones told the court her client was in a fragile mental state and required medication.
She said it was his first time in custody.
Magistrate Jelena Popovic suppressed the man’s name and image and street address after hearing there were concerns about him and his family’s safety and that releasing those details could jeopardise the investigation.
The man, who is being held in protective custody, did not apply for bail.
He was remanded in custody to reappear in the same court on May 14.