Teen faces murder charge after 64yo found dead in burnt home near Kyogle

A teenage male has faced court accused of murder after allegedly starting a fire in the far north of New South Wales that killed a 64-year-old man.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is also facing charges of inappropriately interfering with a corpse and malicious damage to property by fire.

Police laid the charges at the weekend in relation to the discovery of the man’s body inside the remains of a burnt home on a rural property on Smiths Creek Road, west of Kyogle, on August 16.

Detectives from the Richmond Police District, assisted by the State Crime Command, established Strike Force Kumulla to investigate the circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire.

The teenager appeared via video link from a South Grafton detention centre in Ballina Children’s Court on Monday.

The incident occurred on a remote bush block west of Kyogle.(ABC North Coast: Bronwyn Herbert)

Magistrate Paul McMahon granted forensic applications for the boy to undergo mouth swabs to allow DNA to be collected from the inside of his cheek in order to assist the investigation.

“I’m satisfied there are no other reasonable investigative tools the police can use to compare the forensic material that has been located during the course of the investigation,” Magistrate McMahon said.

The teen has been ordered to undergo the forensic testing within seven days.

The court also heard the boy was on bail at the time of the alleged murder.

The police prosecutor said those matters were “related to the more serious offences” the boy was now facing.

There was no formal application for bail and it was formally refused.

The 17-year-old has also been charged with a separate apprehended violence order which is not connected to the alleged murder, the court heard.

He has entered no formal pleas to any of the charges and will return to Lismore Children’s Court on October 30.

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