Teen loses liberty for breaching bail rules

A WARWICK teenager accused of taking part in a violent robbery that left a woman for dead inside a burning building has breached his bail.

Hunter Gabriel Murray-Costelloe was allegedly one of five balaclava-clad men that stormed the Dunwich Post Office last year and stole about $16,000 from the female occupant.

Police allege the group started a fire in a nearby high school to coax the victim's firefighter husband from their home, leaving the 45-year-old woman alone.

The woman told police she opened a safe out of fear of being hurt and heard splashing sounds as accelerant was poured throughout the building.

Police will further allege a 17-year-old Murray-Costelloe punched the woman and knocked her unconscious before the group left.

The woman was able to escape the burning building but suffered a concussion and eye damage.

The couple's home and adjoining post office were destroyed in the blaze.

Murray-Costelloe was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with 11 criminal charges, including armed robbery with violence, break and enter, deprivation of liberty, arson, assault occasioning bodily harm and stealing.

He was released on bail, on the condition he resides with his mother at her Warwick home.

Officers went to the home on Tuesday night and spoke with the teenager's mother, who said her son wasn't home and she didn't know where he was.

Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan yesterday told the Warwick Magistrates Court officers performed patrols in the town area but failed to locate the teenager until Wednesday evening.

Murray-Costelloe yesterday pleaded guilty to the breach of bail, with his lawyer telling the court he left the house for a midnight dash to McDonald's.

Sgt Wiggan yesterday told the court he vehemently opposed Murray-Costelloe being released again and asked Magistrates Graham Lee to revoke the teen's bail.

Mr Lee ordered the Warwick teenager be kept in police custody until he was able to be represented by his private Brisbane-based lawyer.

He will be able to make another application for bail in Brisbane Magistrates Court on May 8, when the 11 criminal charges are mentioned in court again.

The court yesterday heard it is likely to take some time before the matter is finalised.



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