A Queensland pharmacist has admitted setting his partner’s Brisbane home alight in May last year, but will not be sentenced for two attempted murder charges after they were dropped on Wednesday.
Curtis Shea Mickan, 36, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court via video-link from prison during a committal hearing to decide whether his case should go to trial in a higher court.
When emergency services were called to Eveleigh Street in Wooloowin, on the city’s northside, about 6. 15am on May 16, 2021, they found the home engulfed in flames.
Police said two women – Mickan’s partner and one of her family members – were in the house at the time, but escaped without injury.
The accused handed himself in at Hendra Police Station about 11. 30am and faced a Brisbane court for the first time the next day.
Mickan started the committal hearing on Wednesday facing eight charges – two counts each of attempted murder, arson and assault, as well as one count each of wilful damage and contravening a police protection notice.
However, police prosecutors announced they were dropping one of the arson charges, both attempted murder charges, and the original wilful damage charge.
They were instead replaced by four new charges – two counts of unlawful assault, one count of unlawful choking, and a new count of wilful damage.
The new charges, which all relate to the day before Mickan set fire to the house, pertain to his partner. The wilful damage charge relates to a lamp, TV set, wall hangings, and a vase.
Police arrested Mickan the day before the blaze when they were called to a domestic violence incident at the Wooloowin address. He was taken to the watchhouse but released later that day.
The responding police officers faced criticism for releasing Mickan, given what unfolded next, but Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll defended her officers, saying his actions were not foreseeable at the time.
On Wednesday, his legal team did not object to the charges being committed to a higher court.
When asked if he wanted to enter a plea to the eight charges, Mickan replied: I’d like to plead guilty.
The one count of contravening a police protection notice was not a serious enough offence to be committed to a higher court. Instead, Mickan will be sentenced for that offence at a later date in Brisbane Magistrates Court.
He will be sentenced for the remaining seven charges in Brisbane District Court at a later date.