A LAWYER acting for a Wodonga man charged with burning down his public housing home says there are concerns he will hurt himself in custody.
Kyle Peter Briggs, 26, appeared briefly before the Wodonga Magistrates Court on Monday following the blaze on Saturday night.
His Stevenson Street residence was destroyed by fire and he was charged with arson the following day.
Briggs, who had three supporters in the courtroom, did not apply for bail.
It’s alleged he smashed up his home, which is owned by the Department of Health and Human Services, following a dispute with his ex-partner.
The woman told police she fears the 26-year-old and described him as being “out of control”.
Briggs allegedly had an altercation on Saturday afternoon with a man he believed the woman was seeing.
Court documents allege he was in a heightened state when he returned to his home.
Briggs allegedly broke most of the windows, damaged various items and tried to overdose on medication.
He allegedly took a lawnmower, tipped out a full tank of fuel in the lounge room, and set it alight about 8.45pm.
It’s alleged he walked out the front door and told a neighbour he had lit the fire.
He was arrested nearby.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates the damage at $200,000.
The house will need to be demolished.
He appeared tired and nodded to confirm his presence to magistrate David Faram on Monday.
Mario Vaccaro said his client had severe depression, oppositional defiant disorder, a self-abusive personality and masochism.
He was concerned Briggs would self-harm while in custody.
The 26-year-old’s matter will return to court on March 7 but Mr Vaccaro said he could apply for release earlier.
“There might be a bail application made before that date,” he said.
“I’ll need some assessments first though.”
Mr Faram recommended the Wodonga man undergo a mental health assessment while in custody.
Police continue to appeal for information about the incident.
They had canvassed the area following the fire.
For help or information call Lifeline on 131 114 or SuicideLine on 1300 651 251.