Accused arsonist gets bail ahead of trial
A SPRINGFIELD man who is accused of starting numerous fires in Bellbird Park earlier this year has had his bid for freedom granted ahead of his trial albeit under strict conditions.
Dale James Page, 38, is facing 43 charges including arson, wilful damage, entering premises with intent, stealing and trespassing.
It is alleged the former Ipswich City Council worker started the fires due to a vendetta against development in the area.
Page was granted bail in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday after a brief hearing.
Defence barrister Alastair McDougall told the court his client had no criminal history or prior convictions.
"We could be up to a year away from any sort of trial," he said.
"We do not even have a police brief of evidence.
"We only learnt on Tuesday morning that a covert officer had been placed in Mr Page's prison cell on February 1 after he refused to take part in a formal interview the day before."
Prosecutor Amanda Robinson said the Crown opposed bail because Page was an unacceptable risk of reoffending.
However, Justice David Boddice saw things differently and granted Page his freedom.
"The applicant (Page) was not in a show cause situation," he said.
"His has no criminal history and I do not find him to be an unacceptable risk to the community if released on strict conditions."
Justice Boddice ordered he report to Ipswich police station daily and imposed a night-time curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am as conditions of his release.
He further ordered that Page have no contact with witnesses or people involved in the matter ahead of his trial.