Jonathon Richard Anthony pleads not guilty to St Mark's Church fire

On the scene: Fire crews and police responded to a fire at St Mark's Church last December. Photo: Thomas Munday.
On the scene: Fire crews and police responded to a fire at St Mark's Church last December. Photo: Thomas Munday.

A local man has faced court once again over a series of fires, across the Greater Bunbury Region, from late last year.

Jonathon Richard Anthony returned to Bunbury Magistrates Court, via video link, on Thursday, August 8.

The accused sat quietly during the court proceedings, and did not speak until spoken to.

He pleaded not guilty to criminal damage by fire and wilfully lighting a fire likely to injure or damage.

Police allege Mr Anthony lit several small fires at Adam Road Primary School at 10.30am on Monday, December 10.

He then allegedly lit a fire at St Mark's Church, East Bunbury at 11am, causing an estimate $60,000 damage.

Neighbours worked together to extinguish the blaze, before police and fire crews arrived on the scene.

Crews later extinguished a bushfire off Robertson Drive, also allegedly lit by Mr Anthony.

The accused was apprehended a short time later.

The court was told Mr Anthony was homeless and "off his meds" at the time of the alleged offences.

Mr Anthony is currently being monitored at the Frankland Centre, Graylands Hospital in Perth.

A recent psychiatric report revealed he had been compliant throughout his stay at the facility.

Applying for bail, defence lawyer Michael Joubert said Mr Anthony's mother was a qualified nurse and willing to look after him.

Mr Joubert added the conditions would be "favourable" for his client's well-being.

According to the defence, Mr Anthony recently came out of a catatonic state.

Mr Anthony's mother has arranged for her son to conduct light work with a building contractor.

She would be able to make sure her son would follow any orders and take his medication.

Magistrate Evan Shackleton expressed concerns over Mr Anthony's circumstances and his mum's home address.

Mr Shackleton said the accused could pose a threat to people living in the surrounding area.

The magistrate did, however, acknowledge that Mr Anthony's risk of re-offending was low.

Mr Shackleton adjourned the matters to Friday, September 6. The accused is expected to make another bail application at that time.