Ormiston man charged with arson released on bail

Myles John Graham, 26, of Ormiston appeared on Monday charged with arson, a day after the historic hall was destroyed by fire.
Myles John Graham, 26, of Ormiston appeared on Monday charged with arson, a day after the historic hall was destroyed by fire.

A MAN accused of burning down Cleveland Scout Group hall at Ormiston has been released on bail after facing Cleveland Magistrates Court.

Myles John Graham, 26, of Ormiston appeared on Monday charged with arson, a day after the historic hall was destroyed by fire.

A Queensland Police Service spokesperson had earlier said the building was engulfed by the time emergency services arrived at 3.20am on Sunday, March 11. 

The hall was left destroyed despite efforts by firefighters, leaving community groups which used the building dismayed by the loss.

Mr Graham arrived in custody at court today but was freed on bail until his committal hearing on May 10.

Prosecutor Janet Harry told the court Mr Graham had a criminal history, which included domestic violence and wilful damage.

She said he also had a propensity to draw pictures of men holding guns.

Magistrate Deborah Vasta warned Mr Graham he would be jailed if he contacted witnesses on social media or mentioned them in online comments.

The witness contact ban was included as one of several conditions in Mr Graham’s bail. 

Others included that he have a mental health assessment, enrol in an alcohol and drug recovery program, visit police weekly and abide by a 9pm to 6am daily curfew.

He must also not carry fire lighting equipment, including matches and cigarette lighters, in public places.

Defence lawyer, Eve Doherty of KLM Solicitors, told the court Mr Graham lived alone without government help.

She said he had moved to the region from northern Queensland one year ago but had lost work as a plumber because of the arson charge.

Ms Doherty began to tell the court of her client’s willingness to live at Ormiston as part of his bail, before Magistrate Vasta interjected, saying she would decided what conditions were appropriate.

Magistrate Vasta noted Mr Graham had not committed any offences in the past five years.