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'Unforeseeable': Police chief defends officers following arson attack on women

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Queensland’s police chief has defended her officers’ interactions with a man in the hours leading up to an alleged arson attack on a Brisbane house from which two women escaped.

 

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Curtis Shea Mickan, 34, is charged with two counts each of attempted murder and arson, assault occasioning bodily harm, common assault and wilful damage.

Police allege the pharmacist tried to kill two women by setting alight a home in suburban Wooloowin on Sunday morning. The women were uninjured.

But their actions are being questioned after it was revealed police initially had contact with Mickan at the home the night before the fire.

Footage of their visit to the property – captured by body-worn cameras – prompted police Commissioner Katarina Carroll on Tuesday to describe the fire as “unforeseeable”.

“I saw how they put a very good safety plan in place,” she said of the officers’ actions.

The women chose not to pursue criminal charges on Saturday and Mickan was issued with a police protection notice, and held in the watch house for a “substantial amount of time”, Carroll said.

“The decision was made that he was sober enough to understand what was happening, he was given very strict conditions and that was all appropriate.

“The events that followed his release, however, were not foreseeable based on the interactions earlier that night.”

Emergency services were called to the home early on Sunday morning to find it alight.

Carroll noted that there is a domestic violence incident every five minutes in Queensland, totalling about 107,000 occurrences each year.

Domestic violence-related criminality is under review in Queensland.

Mickan’s matters were mentioned in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday when he did not appear and did not apply for bail

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