Cop pleads not guilty to starting devastating fire


More than 70 homes were destroyed by the fire which swept through Roleystone and Kelmscott

It is an interesting story this one. WE could say is a cop have more a responsibility to uphold regulations like total fire bans, is he paying the price for being a cop.Or the devastation he caused means he needs to be prosecuted just like any other idiot who is outside abusing the law on a TOTAL FIRE BAN day? I am looking forward to responses on this one readers…

A Perth police officer has pleaded not guilty to starting a fire which destroyed 72 homes in the hills suburbs of Kelmscott and Roleystone.

Investigators believe sparks from an angle grinder started the February blaze.

Robert James Stevens, who was off duty at the time, has been charged with carrying out an activity in the open that could cause a fire.

A total fire ban was in place on the day of the fire.

Mr Stevens, 56, pleaded not guilty in the Armadale Magistrates Court today.

Outside the court, his lawyer Jeremy Scudds maintained his client’s innocence.

“He maintains his plea of not guilty and he looks forward to the matter being determined by the court,” he said.

He said Mr Stevens is grateful for community support. Well obviously their homes were not burnt down then!

“He does have a lot of support from the community and we thank the community for that,” he said.

A one day trial has been set down for December. Well what does that tell you?

12 thoughts on “Cop pleads not guilty to starting devastating fire

  1. What does it tell me? It tells me that, as usual, cops think that laws are for them to apply to others but not to adhere to themselves. The fact that this case us only set down for one day (and so far away at that) tells me that the judiciary concerned thinks the same. But we already knew that, didn’t we?

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  2. Well, it was the police, in Colonial times, who shot the Aborigines and Ballarat Miners for daring to stand up for their rights. Not much has changed.

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    • Um… Hate to burst your bubble, but in colonial times Aboriginal people had no rights. Very few people did unless they happened to be born into the right family. And to be honest, I’m a bit confused about the relevance of that to this case. I’m willing to accept that I might be missing something that you’re trying to get across, though =)

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  3. With the powers over the general citizenry that they hold, the police are obliged to hue to a higher standard of behaviour. When an officer escapes censure for an action any other would be penalised for respect for the rule of law is diminished.
    He should go for a row of shit cans.

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  4. Hmmm!!

    Im not sticking up for this officer with badge, TO me their a law unto themselves!! In certain states it is permitted providing, by the following!! This was from SA, dos & donts. Not sure on WA restrictions.

    Can I use an angle grinder, welder or any other cutting tool outside?

    YES Providing you have a 4-metre cleared space around the area, and water or an extinguisher is at hand.

    NO Unless you have obtained a Schedule 10 permit from your local council.

    Cheers Bigmouth……

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    • my former home that I built was destroyed in this fire,I know a lot of residents in that area that lost there homes none are angry at the culprit !
      If I can point out something positive about that Police Officer,he is an honest family man an Aussie battler.
      It was an accident and he put his hand up immediately,I do not think he deservers inclusion in Aussie Criminals
      Max

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      • Well..
        Innocent Until proven GUILTY…….
        Isn’t that how our justice system works??
        Like I mentioned, there are dos & donts!!
        Depending on Council & state where you live.
        Bigmouth…..

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  5. I wonder if a couple of shire workers or western power workers would get the same level of comunity support for sparking a fire like that. I doubt it. Shouldnt matter if you are the queen of England, you spark a fire like that on one of those sort of days you should face the full brunt of the law!
    Even if you have cleared a space and have water available dont do it!
    We are talking very hot days with a cranking 25 knot wind, in the tinder dry hills really WTF was he thinking!, typical summer day in perth, 1 spark is all it takes, by the time you get the hose the fire is next door and up the hill. Maybe some sort of public education campaign while he is going through court might help.

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    • At the end of the day its all common sense!! I would not even of contemplated it.
      But then if the Law states you can or council by-laws restrictions say you can provided you do such & such!!
      Then then council need re-educating on the hazards of FIRES, in certain conditions???

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