Police charge man over Lismore cathedral fire; other serious offences across state

A man has been charged over multiple serious offences across the state this week, including deliberately setting fire to a cathedral in Lismore.

About 4.15pm on Monday (14 September 2020), a 20-year-old woman was approached by a man in a car park on Canal Street at Griffith.

It’s alleged the man threatened the woman with a knife before demanding she give him the car keys. He fled the area in her Volkswagen Polo, along with her handbag containing personal items.

The woman, who wasn’t injured, contacted police and officers from Murrumbidgee Police District attended and commenced inquiries.

Following the carjacking, it’s alleged the man committed further theft and fraud offences in both the Griffith and Dubbo regions.

On Tuesday (15 September 2020), a 23-year-old woman was approached by a man outside a shopping centre at Hornsby.

The man threatened the girl with a large knife, demanding she hand over her cash. The girl managed to flee, and the man left empty-handed.

About 6.30am on Friday 18 September 2020), police responded to a large fire at a cathedral in Lismore.

Multiple fire crews managed to extinguish the blaze, which is alleged to have been deliberately lit.

Detectives from Richmond Police District commenced an investigation into the fire and, following inquiries, determined that all four incidents were allegedly linked.

Following further inquiries, detectives located and arrested a 45-year-old man in Magellan Street at Lismore about 10.45am today (Saturday 19 September 2020).

A Taser was used to subdue the man after he allegedly threatened officers with a large knife.

The man was taken to Lismore Police Station where he has since been charged with:

– Damage property by fire;

– Use etc offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention;

– Robbery armed with offensive weapon;

– Assault with intent to rob armed with offensive weapon (x2)

– Dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception (x2); and

– Larceny.

He was bail refused to appear at Lismore Bail Court tomorrow (Sunday 20 September 2020).

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