Ex-cop’s bail bid on Allansford arson charge

A FORMER policeman charged with arson after allegedly paying someone to torch his $1 million Allansford homestead is expected to make a bail application next Monday.

Robert Conn, 67, of Grauers Road, Allansford, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday via a video link.

Police yesterday applied for an extension of time for a hand-up brief, initially due by January 8, to be completed.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt extended the time to April 17, with a new committal mention date of June 4. He remanded Mr Conn in custody.

Solicitor Amanda Chambers said she had been kept up-to-date in relation to the police investigation and yesterday’s application was no surprise. 

However, she forecast that a bail application was being considered.

In October last year Mr Conn was refused bail after a court heard he was the subject of several police investigations, including an alleged bid to kill his wealthy mother-in-law.

The court was told that Werribee police were investigating an incident where Mr Conn and his partner had visited her mother at a nursing home between August 19 and September 1, 2010. 

His partner is her mother’s sole beneficiary.

The major fraud squad has also been involved in a number of investigations involving Mr Conn.

He is a former police officer who was pensioned out of the force many years ago.

The court previously heard that a large fire destroyed a $1 million homestead at Grauers Road, Allansford, on the evening of May 26 last year.

Police allege that Mr Conn paid someone to destroy the home in an effort to claim $1 million from two insurance companies. It was also alleged that Mr Conn had made a number of fictitious burglary reports in relation to his Allansford home before the fire and another on May 31 after the blaze. 

The reason for those reports was to take the pressure off Mr Conn and to deceive police into believing he was being harassed by criminals, a court heard.

Police allege they have about 2100 telephone intercepts which also linked Mr Conn with the man they allege started the fire.

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