A BEALIBA man accused of lighting multiple fires causing extensive damage to farm properties north west of Ballarat has been granted bail.
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Jacob Whitehead, 20, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday facing 19 charges in relation to the fires in January and February.
One fire burnt to within 10 metres of where a 94-year-old woman was sleeping, the court heard.
Whitehead, who has an intellectual disability, had been living out of home when he allegedly lit the fires with two other co-accused men.
The fires caused “extensive damage” to farming properties in Bealiba, Avoca, Lexton, Waubra, Miners Rest, Archdale, Landplough, Emu and Kororee.
He was granted bail on strict conditions that he not leave the property without an accompanying family member. Whitehead was also placed on a curfew from 7pm to 7am.
The court heard the case against Whitehead was “serious”.
Whitehead will re-appear in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on May 25.
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