A GUNNEDAH man accused of torching homes to hide evidence from break-ins has pleaded guilty to all but one of the offences.
Thomas Dunn, 23, was due to front a committal hearing in Tamworth Local Court when he instead pleaded guilty to aggravated break-and-enter in company, two counts of break-and-enter house and destroy property worth more than $60,000, enter in closed land without lawful excuse and maliciously damage property by fire worth more than $15,000.
Dunn, who appeared via video link from the maximum security centre at Cessnock, pleaded not guilty to one count of larceny.
He sat silently throughout the short proceedings.
Two officers from the State Crime Command’s property crime squad, including the officer-in-charge, were in court after they were ordered to appear to answer delays into the case.
Crown prosecutor Colin Dalrymple tendered a large brief of evidence to the court, which was several hundred pages in length and contained a number of photographs into the matters dating back to Gunndah earlier this year.
Dunn’s barrister Bruce Donnelly said he had “no objections to the brief.”
The 23-year-old was arrested in April by detectives attached to Strike Force Toni and charged with six offences.
Strike Force Toni was set up by Oxley detectives and the State Crime Command’s property crime squad to investigate a series of suspicious fires upon vacant properties in the Gunnedah area.
The investigation centered on two homes in Hopedale Ave and Wandobah Rd, as well as a business in Henry St.
Detectives allege the properties had been set alight to destroy evidence of break-and-enters.
Magistrate Roger Prowse has committed Dunn to be sentenced in Tamworth District Court with a date to be set down when proceedings commence on October 28.
He’s also ordered a pre-sentence report to find what sentencing options are available for Dunn.
A hearing into the charge of larceny will be heard in the local court on November 6.
Dunn did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.