A TAMWORTH man accused of two murders and two attempted murders has been found "fit" by a specialist doctor.
Richard George Sands remains bail refused, accused of the double murder of two people in a Bylong Road housefire in Tamworth in 2019.
Sands did not appear in Tamworth Local Court for his charges this week, and magistrate Julie Soars was told the defence team and the Crown had yet to hold a case conference to discuss the matter.
"The sole issue in these proceedings that relate to Mr Sands is the question of his mental health at the time of the incident," Sands' solicitor, who appeared via video link in court, said.
She said the defence had obtained a "psychiatric assessment" and "that report has been served on the prosecution".
"Mr Sands is fit, at least for now," the solicitor said.
She said the Crown was now seeking its own assessment of Sands and "because this is the sole issue", she said, the psychiatric report "is required, so that we can meaningfully engage in a case conference in this matter".
DPP solicitor Max Dickson confirmed the specialist would assess Sands this week.
"[I'm] told it will take about two weeks for that report to be generated," he said, adding it would take an extra fortnight to be considered by the Crown, and served on the defence.
Ms Soars adjourned the case again to May for a case conference.
"I'll adjourn Mr Sands' matter with no application for bail today," she said.
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, and some details in the case cannot be reported for legal reasons.
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.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: