Man faces court over timber mill fire

A CLARENCE Valley man argued with the owners of Tomsys timber mill at Levenstrath before a fire that night caused an estimated $300,000 worth of damage to the mill, according to police evidence presented to the Grafton Local Court this week.

Ronald Douglas Boland, 38, appeared in court on Monday charged with maliciously damaging property by fire.

He has been committed to stand trial in sittings of the District Court at a date to be fixed.

According to police evidence, Boland was involved in an altercation with Jason and John Toms on September 23, 2005, over the length of timber the mill had sold him.

It was alleged he was escorted from the premises but left saying: "I will be back. You haven't seen the last of me."

The court was told that about 9.30pm a neighbour heard someone repeatedly saying they were bleeding.

They went to investigate and heard three explosions in succession and saw a plume of smoke and a glow coming from the direction of the mill.

Another resident rang triple-0. The Rural Fire Brigade attended and allegedly found six ignition points.

The court was told a neighbour had heard a motorcycle in the area and police later found single tyre marks and a quantity of blood in a scene that was 'consistent with a serious injury'.

Pieces off a motorcycle also were alleged to have been found.

Police allegedly checked with the Grafton Base Hospital and found that Boland had been admitted to hospital with a serious leg injury.

Police claim to have found a damaged motorcycle at a Boland family property.

During a police record of interview Boland denied any knowledge or involvement in the fire.

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