A MAGISTRATE has put a blanket non-publication order on key details of the Tamworth double murder case, to protect the survivors of the fire and the accused in custody.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Rob Baillie was successful in his bid to suppress the identities, ages and relationship to the accused of the alleged victims and the two survivors.
But both Legal Aid solicitor Wendy McAuliffe and police went a step further to have the accused's identity suppressed and said it was needed for the protection and "safety of the accused" in prison.
The Leader challenged the second part of the order in the interests of open justice.
Magistrate Julie Soars ruled in favour of the application, and found that because one allegation involves the murder of a child, it "takes it out of the ordinary" and a blanket order on his identity was needed.
Ms Soars was told there were police concerns "as to interfering or hampering with the investigation".
The man, who now cannot be identified, is accused of murdering a woman and a young boy in an horrific fire on Thursday and has been formally denied bail at a bedside hearing in hospital.
BEDSIDE BAIL HEARING
Ms Soars travelled to Tamworth hospital to conduct the bedside hearing on Friday morning, surrounded by a police prosecutor, Corrective Services' officers, detectives investigating the case, as well as court sheriffs.
The accused was represented by Ms McAuliffe and was not required to enter pleas to the charges during the out-of-sessions hearing.
He made no application for bail and it was formally refused by Ms Soars who adjourned the case to December.
On Friday afternoon, the man was transferred to a specialist burns unit in a Sydney hospital for treatment late on Friday. He is said to be in a stable condition.
A young boy also injured in the fire was with extended family members on Friday as he recovered from his injuries.
A woman was still listed as critical after suffering burns to much of her body in the housefire, which police allege was deliberately lit.
She was clinging to life on Friday in a specialist burns unit in a Sydney hospital.
The man is charged with two counts of murder after the body of a woman was found in a bedroom at the house, and the body of a little boy in a back room, after the fire broke out at 5.30am on Thursday.
Detectives have confirmed investigations are continuing and have not ruled out further charges.
"There is two [alleged] child victims ... and one deceased, and one in an injured or critical condition," Sergeant Baillie told the court.
"There is potential charges but the investigation is ongoing."
"We say the publication of the material of the names and ages would hamper the ongoing investigation of police."
He said there were "complex issues" and the pair in hospital were "vulnerable".
Ms Soars will hear further legal argument on the case next week.
The Leader was the only media outlet to challenge the non-publication order in #Tamworth Local Court, arguing the accused's name should be reported in the interests of open justice. A further order prohibits the identification of the two people in hospital, and the two deceased. https://t.co/WFVHnTd78W— Breanna Chillingworth (@breannachill) October 18, 2019