AFTER more than 12 months in custody, solicitors for a man charged with two murders in a deadly Tamworth housefire have now received the full brief of evidence.
Richard George Sands has spent one year and one week in custody in hospital or on remand in prison, accused of the fatal Hillvue housefire which erupted on October 17, last year.
He's charged withkilling a woman and a child, and attempting to kill another woman and child in the blaze, but much of the case cannot be reported for legal reasons.
Sands did not appear in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday when his case was called, and neither did his solicitor who sent an email to the court.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Rob Baillie told the court the "brief is compliant", and has been served on both the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Legal Aid solicitors.
"There is no application for bail today," magistrate Julie Soars said on Wednesday, examining the letter from Legal Aid.
The case has now been pushed to solicitors in the DPP who will consider the evidence and the four charges, and determine if any other brief items are required in the case.
There is no application for bail today.Magistrate Julie Soars
Sands stands accused of two counts of murder and two charges of attempted murder. He is yet to enter pleas.
The DPP has six weeks to confirm and certify the charges they intend to proceed with. A case conference between the Crown and defence will then be held to examine the issues in the matter, before any pleas are required to be entered.
Ms Soars said she was "not requiring Mr Sands" to appear in court on Wednesday but has ordered he appear on the next occasion, once the charges are certified.
She said he would need to appear via video link from custody so that she could provide an explanation on the legal process to him, required by law.
"He'll come in via AVL," she told the court.
"No explanation to be given today."
The case will return to court in December.
Detectives allege Sands deliberately set fire to the home just before dawn, killing a woman, whose body was found in the front bedroom, and a young boy, whose remains were found at the back of the house.
The second woman and child survived the fire and were rushed to hospital for burns. The woman was later airlifted to a specialist unit in Sydney, having suffered burns to almost 80 per cent of her body.
The boy was released from hospital in the days after the fire.
Sands was arrested shortly after the fire and taken to Tamworth hospital for treatment for his burns. He was refused bail in an out-of-sessions bail hearing at Tamworth hospital a day after the fire. He's been in custody since.
On October 18, Sands was then moved to a Sydney hospital for specialist treatment before being transferred back into custody once he had recovered.