Mother allegedly wanted to 'light up the town'
A SOUTH Mackay woman accused of being "fixated on lighting fires", threatening to murder someone and goading police to shoot her was granted bail so long as her husband coughed up a $5000 surety.
The 36-year-old mother of two is charged with lighting a grass fire and then spitting phlegm into the mouth of a Mackay fire officer over an incident at Illawong Dr on October 20.
A Mackay court heard during a bail application that police have alleged Catherine Michelle Parkes made various comments about "lighting up the town", "urging police to shoot her" and "about murdering another person".
Prosecutor Chelsea Pearson argued against bail on the grounds that Mrs Parkes was an unacceptable risk of committing further offence, to herself and to others.
She told Mackay Magistrates Court it was alleged Mrs Parkes "lit a fire and made further threats to light the whole town up".
"She (allegedly) made admissions to the fire service that she was doing so to attract the attention of police," Ms Pearson said.
"Further allegations before the court … she had been detained and arrested by police … placed on the ground because she's resisted arrest … she's then sat up and spat phlegm into the mouth of a fire officer."
The court heard a disease test had been ordered as a result.
Ms Parkes is facing charges of unlawfully lighting a grass fire and serious assault of a public officer while intoxicated in a public place.
Prosecution has elected for both offences to be dealt with by the Mackay District Court.
The bail application was stood down part way through so a more detailed mental health assessment could be done.
Legal Aid Defence solicitor Rosie Varley said her client was not in a show cause position and had a limited Queensland criminal history, with only one entry.
Ms Varley told the court Mrs Parkes had gone through a "difficult time" recently as it was near the 12-month anniversary of a close friend's death.
"She instructed that she hadn't been coping and she did, on the day of this offence, she had been drinking alcohol," Ms Varley said.
"She was intoxicated when this alleged offence happened."
Ms Varley told the court her client had still been affected by alcohol when police and fire crews were on scene and she allegedly made the comments.
"She certainly understands the seriousness of both of the matters," she said, arguing the alleged offending was "out of character".
Magistrate Mark Nolan granted bail under strict conditions including a $5000 surety and reporting to police three times a week.
Mrs Parkes must also abstain from drinking alcohol, submit to testing while on bail and undergo a medical examination with a psychiatrist.
The case has been adjourned until mid-December.