A man accused of lighting fires threatened a barrister in court.
A man accused of lighting fires threatened a barrister in court.

‘You’re dead’: Courtroom outburst

A SOUTH Mackay man accused of lighting fires has threatened a Queensland Police Service barrister, yelling "you're a f---ing dead c---" from the courtroom dock.

Three days after Michael William Beattie was released from Mackay's mental health unit he allegedly started a fire in Sarina.

He was denied bail, Magistrate Mark Nolan finding the risk was too great.

Police counsel Joshua Morris argued against the 32 year old's release, citing an "extensive" criminal history that included multiple entries of violence.

Mr Morris told Mackay Magistrates Court Mr Beattie had convictions for 10 breaches of bail and three failures to appear in court, the vast majority of which had occurred since 2017.

Mr Beattie is accused of setting fire to crops and growing plants at Matthew St in Sarina on Sunday. The case must be heard in the District Court.

Mr Morris said one witness had identified Mr Beattie, who allegedly was found with three lighters.

After Mr Beattie's bail was denied he gestured towards Mr Morris and others at the bar table and said "you're a f---ing dead c---" before telling Mr Morris "you're a f--- face" as he was led away by Mackay watch-house police.

The court heard that at the time of the alleged offending Mr Beattie was already on bail for wilful damage and common assault, placing him in a show cause position - this meant he must prove why it was unjust for him to remain in custody.

Legal Aid Queensland defence solicitor Rosie Varley said her client, who received Centrelink's disability support pension, was subject to an involuntary treatment order at the mental health unit.

She said her client disagreed with the police allegations and the matter was "likely to require some case conferencing".

"He instructs he does have a stable address … he does have lined up some part-time work," Ms Varley said, in a bid to secure her client's freedom.

"He is willing to report to the police station as required by the court.

"He does acknowledge and understand how serious this matter … is."

Ms Varley told the court her client had gone through a "troubling time" last year and had been using illicit substances "but he instructs that that is no longer the case".

The court heard a mental health assessment was done prior to Mr Beattie's appearance in court.

Ms Varley said Mr Beattie had been released from the mental health unit on October 17 after being admitted the month before.

"It would be unjust for my client to be remanded in custody," she said.

Mr Nolan found Mr Beattie had not shown cause and rejected the bail bid. The case was adjourned to November 19.