A SPECIALIST doctor has finalised a medical report on a Tamworth man accused of murdering a woman and a child in a 2019 housefire.
Richard George Sands is facing multiple murder and attempted murder charges after a deadly housefire in Hillvue on October 17, 2019.
Sands, who has been in custody since his arrest on the day of the fire, did not appear in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday morning.
No solicitor appeared for Sands, but magistrate Julie Soars said his Legal Aid defence had sent an email from Sydney.
The court heard Sands did not need to appear via video link because his case was not ready to proceed and no case conference had been held between the defence and prosecutors.
"There's been a psychological report provided," DPP solicitor Cat McKay told the court.
She said the defence had served the report on the DPP, and now "the Crown needs some further time to also obtain a report".
Miss McKay said those reports from experts were essential prior to any case conference being held.
She asked for a joint adjournment for two months, and said she was "confident" the second psychological report could be prepared, and a case conference held in that time.
Ms Soars adjourned the case to late-April, after the defence agreed to the same date.
"Mr Sands is bail not applied for, refused today," she said.
Ms Soars said the case had been hanging around in the court system.
"The delays were largely in brief service," Miss McKay replied.
She said "there are also some issues with potential defences", which she said "are relevant to discussions".
Ms Soars said "ultimately, if there is issues of fitness they will be matters for the next court".
According to court documents, Sands is accused of murdering one woman, and a young child, on October 17, 2019.
He also faces allegations that he set fire to the Bylong Road home in an attempt to murder one woman and a young boy, with intent to kill both of them.
None of the deceased or survivors of the fire can be identified for legal reasons, and some details in the case cannot be reported because of a non-publication order, which was again confirmed on Wednesday.
In addition, Sands is accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the surviving woman; and did intentionally or recklessly destroy property, namely the Bylong Road property, with intent to endanger the life of the surviving young boy. He is yet to enter pleas.
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.
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