Man denies arson charge

A MAN nicknamed "Frizzle" is contesting allegations that he set fire to his former partner's George Town house in 2008.

Glenn William Strong, of New Norfolk, pleaded not guilty in the Launceston Supreme Court yesterday to one count of arson.

The Crown has accused him of having deliberately lit a fire in the kitchen of the Harris Crescent property before 9pm on December 1, 2008.

Prosecutor Yolanda Prenc argued in her opening address that Mr Strong was responsible for the fire.

She said that he had visited the property and saw the complainant that evening.

Ms Prenc said the woman then left to visit a friend, while Mr Strong remained inside.

She said a fire later started in the kitchen area and spread within a two-metre radius of the washing machine and stove.

"There was no evidence of an electrical fault," Ms Prenc said.

"But there was a burnt cloth on top of the stove ... and the front element of the stove was turned on."

Ms Prenc said the fire investigator determined that the blaze had been deliberately lit.

She said police arrested Mr Strong at the scene and later interviewed him.

"Mr Strong said he was there before the fire and that he was drunk," Ms Prenc said.

"He tries to distance himself from being responsible for the fire."

Defence counsel James Oxley, in his opening address, said the fire was an accident. He argued that the fire had not been deliberately lit, but if it had been, his client was not responsible.

The complainant gave evidence for the Crown yesterday.

The George Town woman told the court that Mr Strong was also known as "Frizzle" or "Frizz" and the pair broke up about two or three months before the fire.

She said that Mr Strong had visited her after dinnertime on December 1, 2008, and he was drunk.

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