A HORSHAM man facing charges following a fire at Horsham Florist has been denied bail.
Ben Jones, 36, was denied bail when he appeared at Horsham Magistrates’ Court on Monday. He was arrested and charged for burglary, theft and arson at the Horsham business on Saturday morning.
Horsham’s Detective Senior Constable Neale Roberts told the court Mr Jones broke into the building with the intent to steal money.
“At about 5.30am on Saturday the accused had gone to Horsham Florist. He walked to the rear of the shop,” he said. “He attempted to gain access at the rear of Jade Lantern, but failed to gain access. A personal wallet was found in that area.
“He went to the neighbouring business – Horsham Florist – and gained access to the roof by climbing on a rubbish bin.
“He cut through a skylight with a knife and entered intending to steal money.”
Detective Senior Constable Roberts said Mr Jones stole $1500 and started two fires before leaving the building through the front door.
He estimated $160,000 worth of damage – $80,000 to the building itself and $80,000 to stock.
Detective Senior Constable Roberts said Mr Jones purchased food and drink with the stolen money at Coles at 7.05am.
“The manger serving the accused said he appeared to be affected by drugs and alcohol and called a taxi for him,” he said.
A search warrant was executed in Horsham on Monday morning where police seized torn trackpants, a knife and cash.
“The accused made a full admission and displayed remorse,” Detective Senior Constable Roberts said. “He spent the money of food drink and at the pokies. He said he was affected by prescription medication – his own and others.”
Detective Senior Constable Roberts said Mr Jones has a “significant criminal history”.
Mr Jones told the court he admitted to the crimes.
“I was told that bail wasn’t a problem. I know the seriousness of the crime, but I need time to collect my belongings because everything I own will disappear,” Mr Jones said.
Magistrate Ronald Saines said Mr Jones was an “unacceptable risk” who could “endanger the safety and welfare of others”.
While Magistrate Saines gave his verdict, Mr Jones punched the prespex panel divider of the defendants box.
“I should have kept my mouth shut this morning. Thank you, I’m going to lose everything,” Mr Jones said.
Magistrates Saines removed him from court following the outburst and denied Mr Jones bail.
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