12 June 2021

Bail denied for man who allegedly threatened to set woman on fire

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts Photo: Michelle Kroll Region Media

Jason Steven Buckley has been refused bail in the ACT Magistrates Court. Photo: Michelle Kroll Region Media.

A Canberra man who allegedly doused a woman in flammable liquid and threatened to set her on fire has had his hopes of leaving jail to attend a funeral dashed.

In court documents, police allege Jason Steven Buckley began arguing with a woman on 25 November 2020. They say he then made aggressive gestures to hit her in the head with a three-litre bottle of milk. He also threatened to stomp on her head.

Mr Buckley allegedly splashed a half-empty one-litre bottle of methylated spirits over her and threatened to set her on fire with a small lighter he held in his hands.

The woman fled by getting into her car, but he allegedly followed and smashed her front windscreen before she drove away.

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Mr Buckley, 39, of Bonner, applied for bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday (11 June). He appeared over audio-visual link as he was being held in the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

His lawyer, Peter Woodhouse of Aulich, said his client wanted a limited release from jail so he could attend the funeral of a great aunt.

Mr Woodhouse said there was very little evidence he would commit offences if released and the complainant in the case was not part of the family so would not be at the funeral.

But the prosecutor alleged Mr Buckley had committed very serious violent offences, and if he was convicted, it was likely he would be jailed, which was an incentive to not return to custody.

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Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said he was effectively seeking “day bail” and an application could have been made to Corrective Services for such a release, which meant he could be supervised by correctives officers at the funeral.

Instead, it had been suggested he could be released into the care of his cousin, which she said was a significant, unreasonable obligation. She refused bail.

Mr Buckley has a hearing for his case on 2 and 5 July. His charges include committing an act endangering life, damaging property and threatening to inflict grievous bodily harm.

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