Homeless man Paul Cahoon charged, appears in Shepparton Magistrates' Court.FIONA BROOM December 12, 2012 4:44am
A homeless man lit a fire in Mooroopna bushland on Monday night to bring attention to homelessness, a court heard yesterday.
Paul Cahoon, 48, of no fixed address, has lived on the streets of the Goulburn Valley for years, Shepparton Magistrates’ Court heard.
‘‘It’s a sad situation,’’ barrister Brian Birrell said.
‘‘He sleeps wherever he can find a place — in the (Maude St) mall, here, there and everywhere.’’
Mr Cahoon was appearing in court charged with causing a fire in a country area with intent to cause damage and lighting a fire in open air during a fire danger period. Mr Birrell said his client had nowhere to go and was unable to make an application for bail as he had no family or friends he could stay with.
The court heard custody might be a better alternative for the 48-year-old than living in the bush.
‘‘I say with some reluctance at least he’ll have a bed .
The court heard Mr Cahoon made full admissions to police when he was arrested on Monday night, telling them he was not sure what he was going to do next as he wanted to draw attention to the homeless. Magistrate Simon Garnett said on that basis Mr Cahoon, an alcoholic, would need to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
He also said it was probably best Mr Cahoon was not living in the open during the fire season.
Mr Birrell said while the incident was a very serious set of circumstances, his client had no criminal history, except for when he was before the courts seven days earlier after breaking some windows while drunk.
The fire started about 12.30
Neighbourhood Watch Week will start with a sizzle — a sausage sizzle to be precise — at Sevens Creek Dve in Kialla.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
It was clear blue skies last Tuesday for the official launch of the Gargarro (pronounced Ga-gar-ro) Botanic Gardens in Girgarre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
KATH Bubb has been recognised for 50 years of service with the Ballendella Red Cross.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
McIvor Creek – in and around Heathcote – has gone over its banks with all our recent rain, flooding streets and causing closures and detours.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
After a 30-year career as an accountant in Deniliquin, Peter Skipworth officially retires today.
Tuesday, August 16
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