A Baldivis father of two could become the first person in the State to face a possible mandatory jail term for allegedly causing harm to a child while manufacturing drugs.
Mark Dennehy, 32, this afternoon appeared in the Rockingham Magistrate’s Court charged over a July 31 explosion at a Bertram property in which his four-year-old son was badly burned.
Mr Dennehy, who walked slowly into the court room with both his arms in compression bandages, is facing charges of unlawful damage, attempting to manufacture a prohibited drug and endangering the life, health or safety of a person.
Mr Dennehy had been at the Baldivis property with his four-year-old when the explosion happened at 3.45pm on July 31.
Mr Dennehy was badly burnt on his legs, arms and face while his son suffered burns to his hands, foot and face in the explosion, the court was told.
Damage to the house caused by the explosion was estimated at more than $284,000 and it will be alleged officers found equipment used to make methylamphetamine inside the house.
Acting Sgt Sutherland said it was not yet known whether the boy would suffer permanent scarring.
Mr Dennehy was arrested and charged last night, shortly after he was discharged from the Royal Perth Hospital burns unit.
The court was told the house had been leased by the boy’s mother and Mr Dennehy’s defence lawyer told the court his client had been at the house as part of his custodial arrangement and the evidence against him was purely circumstantial.
“There is absolutely no evidence that connects the accused with any attempt to manufacture a prohibited drug,” he said.
He argued the injuries suffered by Mr Dennehy’s son was relatively minor and the boy had been discharged from hospital two weeks ago, with doctors advising the boy would not suffer any permanent scarring.
He applied for bail, saying his client needed medical treatment every two days for his bandages to be changed and for physiotherapy.
Acting Sgt Sutherland opposed bail saying Mr Dennehy faced a mandatory 12 month jail term if convicted.
Magistrate Denis Temby granted Mr Dennehy bail with a $20,000 personal undertaking and a $20,000 surety and a condition that he may not possess pseudoephedrine or ephedrine products without consent from a doctor.He was also ordered to surrender his passport. He is due in court again on August 28.
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