Father and son on arson charges are given bail

A BUSINESSMAN and his son who allegedly threatened to shoot a woman as they torched a house on a drink-fuelled rampage, have been granted bail.

Kenneth and Jesse Douglas are allowed to leave jail and return to their Gladstone home until their trial.

But they must not drink any alcohol, must get rid of all weapons on their property, attend alcohol counselling services and stay away from witnesses.

Brisbane Supreme Court also imposed a curfew on the pair.

The two men, along with their son and brother Matthew Douglas, are charged with pouring petrol on and setting fire to a house and caravan on Cedar Creek Rd, near Diglum, at 10pm on August 12.

They are also charged with deprivation of liberty, robbery when armed and dangerous conduct with a weapon.

Both men have been in jail on remand since August 22.

Justice John Bond told the court on Tuesday that witnesses had described his clients breaking into a shipping container on the property and arming themselves with firearms.

He said the Douglases were accused of entering a house on the property, waking up a man and woman sleeping in a nearby caravan.

He said the man went to see about the racket while the woman put on her shoes.

The court heard the witness told police a bullet flew through the caravan window as she was doing so.

Justice Bond said the woman alleged Kenneth threatened her, telling her she had better stay away "or she'd get one of these" as he fired his shotgun towards a paddock.

He said Kenneth was also accused of later firing a shot from a rifle at the ground in front of the woman.

The court heard the woman alleged she also saw Matthew Douglas, Jesse's brother, pouring petrol from a can in the house and setting it alight.

Justice Bond said Jesse had made admissions to police that he set fire to the home and Kenneth had admitted he took things from the house.

Defence barrister Scott Moon said the Douglases' defence team would heavily contest witness evidence in the coming hearing, including witness credibility.

Mr Moon said both Kenneth and Jesse should be granted bail as they voluntarily handed themselves in for questioning, knowing full well the seriousness of the allegations against them.

He said the men were prepared to lay down $30,000 each in bail, which would be drawn from the value of Kenneth's business machinery.

The court heard Kenneth served three months last year for drug-related offences but Jesse had no criminal history at all.

Mr Moon outlined the strong connections both men had to the Gladstone community, including Kenneth having children at local schools and running his own business in town.

He said it appeared the alleged incident was alcohol-fuelled and as such, both men agreed to abstain from alcohol should they be granted bail, as well as attend alcohol counselling services and submit to random blood testing.

ARM NEWSDESK



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