A Melbourne man who allegedly set a 5G phone tower ablaze was urged to keep quiet in court after he wanted to speak about a hole he is accused of digging to imprison Premier Daniel Andrews.
Nathan Glover was refused bail in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday afternoon and is charged with arson, possessing a prohibited weapon, drug offences and committing an indictable offence while on bail.
A police summary read to the court alleged the 44-year-old Mt Eliza man rode on an electric scooter to the Telstra tower, about 1.5km from his home, broke in and started a blaze.
The fire destroyed the tower and caused about $1 million in damage, took telecommunications offline and endangered the safety of the public, the court was told.
The magistrate said Mr Glover was an unacceptable risk who made comments to police about a hole in the yard of the tower.
“There was a hole dug at the scene which Mr Glover said was a hole to imprison Daniel Andrews,” magistrate Alexandra Burt said on Friday.
There was also a degree of forward planning, and a common theme was some kind of “political action”, she said.
“There does seem to be a theme at play,” she said.
But Mr Glover raised his hand and said he wanted to say something about the hole, but his lawyer Natasha Freijah urged him to keep quiet.
“There’s a lot of people in this courtroom, Nathan and I prefer that you don’t say anything … anything you say is not going to change that (decision),” Ms Freijah said.
The magistrate explained to Mr Glover the hole was “not decisive” in her thinking in relation to the bail application.
Instead, she found he was an unacceptable risk because of the gravity of the alleged offending – including the significant arson, the amount of damage and the destruction of the tower – happened in proximity to trees and in a residential area.
His lawyer argued it was Mr Glover’s first time in custody, he had a stable address and was the primary breadwinner for his household.
Prosecutors argued the concreter should remain in jail and they had CCTV footage of the alleged arson attack, and an electric scooter and a distinctive jacket allegedly worn by the offender was found at his home.
They were still waiting on analysis of a boot and a footprint found at the phone tower and a red substance, believed to be a mix of petrol and paint.
He is due to return to court in January.