GUTTED: Fire ripped through a house on Alice St Tuesday night. Photo: Cody Fox
GUTTED: Fire ripped through a house on Alice St Tuesday night. Photo: Cody Fox

Arson accused in tears at spending Christmas in custody

THE woman charged with torching a Maryborough home earlier this week burst into tears when she heard she would not be released from custody before the Christmas holidays.

Peta Michelle Harvey wiped tears from her eyes with her hands still restricted by police handcuffs when Magistrate Terry Duroux ruled on her applicationon Thursday.

Police allege Ms Harvey burnt down the Alice St home of people known to her on Tuesday evening.

The residents were not at home at the time of the blaze.

The 19-year-old was arrested at the scene and has already spent two nights in the Maryborough watch house.

Duty lawyer Natasha Schumacher argued her client had a permanent address in Hervey Bay and was willing and able to report to local police as part of any bail conditions.

Ms Schumacher also submitted that Ms Harvey would not travel to Maryborough or Tinana where her parents live.

She agreed with the court that a charge of arson is a serious one and stressed that the magnitude of the offence was communicated with Ms Harvey.

Mr Duroux responded to the application by saying Ms Harvey clearly suffered from mental health issues but emphasised that the accused's conduct had escalated to an unacceptable level.

He agreed with police who submitted that Ms Harvey posed a high risk of reoffending and could be considered a danger to the victims and community at large.

Mr Duroux rejected the bail application and Ms Harvey was remanded into custody.

She is due to appear in the Maryborough Magistrates Court again via video link on February 18.