Mum cries as husband, sons arrested over fire

GLADSTONE dad Ken Douglas and his sons, Jesse and Matthew Douglas, are in police custody facing arson, armed robbery with violence and deprivation of liberty charges after a house was destroyed by fire.

Police accuse the Yarwun and New Auckland men of the arson of a house and caravan on a property on Cedar Creek Rd, near Diglum, 70km south-west of Gladstone, on August 12.

 

Mrs Douglas (left) leaves Gladstone Courthouse after her husband and sons were charged with arson and robbery offences.
Mrs Douglas (left) leaves Gladstone Courthouse after her husband and sons were charged with arson and robbery offences. Ross Irby

Kenneth Robert Douglas, 39, son Jesse Ronald Douglas, 26, and Matthew Thomas Douglas, 22 (New Auckland), are each charged with one count of arson, burglary, enter premises, armed robbery and dangerous conduct with a weapon and two counts of deprivation of liberty.

Police allege the trio went to the rural property at 10pm on Friday and were involved in an argument with a couple who live there.

They are accused of making threats against the man and woman and one of them is alleged to have fired shots after a rifle was taken from a gun safe. The house and a caravan were then set on fire and destroyed.

The men went before Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday afternoon.

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Lawyer Jun Pepito told magistrate Melanie Ho the men would make bail applications on Thursday.

Police prosecutor Gavin Reece said police would oppose bail as they were in a show-cause situation because of the seriousness of the charges, including armed robbery with a weapon.

With all three men being held in the Gladstone watchhouse, Ms Ho ordered they each be brought up from the cells separately so that the legal matters could be explained.

Kenneth Douglas.
Kenneth Douglas. Campbell Gellie

Jesse Douglas appeared first, of thin build with short-cropped, sandy hair.

His mother, at times tearful, sat in the public gallery with a younger woman while it was explained to him that he would be held in the watchhouse, and not jail, until the application was made. His brother, Matthew, with a thick beard, was next in the dock.

When Ms Ho told him that his mother was there and a bit upset, Matthew gave his mother a quick grin and a wave. "Love you, son," his mother called out to him.

Their father, Ken, a tanned man of solid build, was next.

"Can I be put in the same cell as my sons," he asked Ms Ho.

She replied that it would be up to the watchhouse.

All matters were adjourned to Thursday.


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