Woman charged over West Coast bach fire

Court House-07A West Coast woman has been arrested for the arson of a bach at Mokihinui, Buller District, which was gutted in a fire before Christmas.

The woman’s case was called in the Christchurch District Court today but she was not present because she is now in mental health care.

A Canterbury District Health Board clinician had sent a letter to the court outlining the woman’s situation.

Judge Alistair Garland granted interim name suppression at the request of defence counsel Paul Johnson.

He remanded the 33-year-old woman in custody to January 21 for a report under the Criminal Procedures (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act. He said the report was to consider “the issue of insanity”.

The woman’s case was called earlier in the week and put off until today while the situation was clarified.

She has not yet appeared in court and has indicated no pleas to charges of trespassing on a property at Mokihinui on December 23, and intentionally damaging the bach by fire on the same day, intending to cause loss to the owner.

The fire was reported at about 12.50pm that day. Police and Fire Service investigators began inquiries at the scene after the building was destroyed. The bach owner was not there at the time of the fire.




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