ACT News

Man cleared of setting fire to girlfriend's home loses release bid

A man who was cleared last week of setting fire to his estranged girlfriend's Monash home has lost a bid for release. 

A jury found Todd Elphick, 28, not guilty of burning down the woman's home while the pair were locked in a bitter custody battle in July last year.

A fire caused about $300,000 damage to the home, and was thought suspicious by authorities, who believed alcohol and petrol were used.

No one was inside at the time of the fire.

The jury cleared Elphick of the crime after a lengthy trial in the ACT Supreme Court.

But despite the acquittal, Elphick remained in custody on four other charges, including contravening a court order, stalking, and threatening to commit arson.

He has pleaded guilty to those charges and is awaiting sentencing. 

Elphick applied for release on bail before Justice Richard Refshauge, who delivered his decision on Tuesday. 

Justice Refshauge said the offender, who has already spent a considerable period behind bars, was unlikely to be sentenced to more time in prison.

He said that meant there was little risk that Elphick would fail to appear in court.

But the judge said there was a risk that emotions may run high before Christmas and tensions with the victim may resurface.

Justice Refshauge said Elphick had breached his bail 10 times since 2010, and that his past was a good indicator of future behaviour.

He refused Elphick bail.