Woman accused of burning son’s house to ground

THE hearing of a woman accused of burning her son's house to the ground four years ago has begun in Grafton Local Court.

Anne Gunn, 78, pleaded not guilty to charges of damage property by fire and break and enter dwelling with intent to damage/destroy after she allegedly set her son's Waterview Heights house alight in 2016.

On Tuesday, Grafton Local Court heard a fire had engulfed Andrew Gunn's Olivedale Rd home at around 9.50am on July 5, 2016 and CCTV footage recovered from a hard drive police seized after the blaze appeared to depict the "person responsible for the fire".

Due to the extensive fire damage police were unable to retrieve the footage from the CCTV hard drive which led the accused's son to send the hard drive to Ohio-based company Secure Data which resurrected footage from eight cameras surrounding Mr Gunn's home.

Detective Senior Constable Dale Kean took to the stand yesterday, testifying screenshots of the CCTV footage tendered to the court appeared to be of "the person responsible for the fire".

In cross examination Ms Gunn's solicitor, Mark Spagnolo showed Snr-Constable Kean screenshots of the footage from 9.32am depicted a person wearing a grey hoodie and no glasses, covering the camera with material. He then showed him screenshots from about 9.50am of a person wearing glasses and a grey hoodie removing the cover.

Mr Spagnolo played footage from a different CCTV camera that showed a person leaving Mr Gunn's premises wearing a grey hoodie and carrying something in their right hand at 9.42am. Footage from that camera did not show a person return to the premises.

Snr-Constable Kean said throughout the investigation he learned Andrew Gunn and his parents had ongoing disputes at times involving the courts, when Mr Gunn's father, Brian, took out an apprehended domestic violence order against him.

Mr Spagnolo said the victim, Mr Gunn, had approached media last year which lead to the A Current Affair program about the alleged offending that aired prior to the hearing.

Snr-Constable Kean said Mr Gunn had not provided him with copies of the ACA program and had provided everything to the investigation that was relevant.

Mr Spagnolo suggested Mr Gunn had been "selective" in what was provided to police.

The hearing continues today before Magistrate Kathy Crittenden.



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