'Arsonist' allegedly set home alight after eviction notice
A WOMAN is set to face trial for allegedly setting her regional housing unit alight after being served an "eviction notice” in July last year.
Tamara Anne Partridge yesterday appeared in Bundaberg Magistrates court.
She was charged with wilfully setting fire to 3/39 Hanbury St on July 14, 2018.
During the committal hand-up, three key prosecution witnesses were grilled by Partridge's defence lawyer Matt Maloy.
Prosecution witnesses and submissions from both sides were heard, but ultimately magistrate Terry Duroux said he was satisfied there was enough evidence from the prosecution to set the matter for trial.
The prosecution witnesses who were cross-examined were Andrew McCracken, a fire officer, Sergeant Darren Smith, a forensic scientist and Jason McCloskey a fire investigator and firefighter.
Mr Maloy argued the witnesses had been unaware of glass and other materials which were allegedly found on Ms Partridge's bed during the post-fire investigation.
He submitted the fire could have been started by other factors including an electric blanket, and claimed the prosecution's evidence against his client was "circumstantial” only.
Mr Maloy asked if there was any doubt that the fire could have started by other means not related to the alleged actions of of Ms Partridge, to which Mr McCloskey said he couldn't exclude other potential circumstances.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Grant Klaassen said there were a number of factors the prosecution's case was relying on.
This included about 20 witness statements from former neighbours of Ms Partridge and inspectors. Mr Duroux said it was not disputed that a fire had broken out inside the residence on July 14, and that Ms Partridge had been in the house at the time.
He said while the prosecution's evidence was circumstantial, he was "satisfied the evidence is suitable” to be taken to trial. He said the submissions by Mr Maloy were "not without merit”. A trial date has not been set.