House burnt down would do accused arsonist a favour
The godmother, and former fire communications officer, of a man accused of arson and attempted fraud relating to his house being destroyed by fire in 2019, has told a court being in the fire services was like “being a minor celebrity”.
Joanne Keevers gave evidence on March 25 in the trial of Daniel Boyd Bromilow, who has pleaded not guilty to arson and attempted fraud, in the Rockhampton District Court.
Ms Keevers told the court she once worked for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services for eight years as a communications officer but now worked for another government department.
She said she had known Mr Bromilow since he was born as she had been friends with his mother since they were in Grade 8 together.
Ms Keevers said she had visited Mr Bromilow in May 2019, prior to the fire, to drop of some of her husband’s old clothes for him to use.
She said she was there about 20 minutes and they talked about many things, including the “threats” that were in a letter Mr Bromilow claimed he found on his windscreen on May 18, which he immediately took to the police.
The court heard there was a copy of the letter in the envelope Mr Bromilow allegedly found and the defendant kept the second copy.
Crown prosecutor Samantha O’Rourke said the letter contained threats to Mr Bromilow and compliments such as “high regard”, ”a looker” and indicated they new Mr Bromilow wanted to join the military.
Ms Keevers told the court Mr Bromilow asked her how long it would take for his house to burn down and how long it would take for the fire service to respond.
She said she pointed to his gutters as she was leaving, commenting on their sad state.
“He said if somebody burned his house down, they would probably be doing him a favour, but.....” Ms Keevers said.
When asked to explain the “but” at the end of that comment by defence barrister Michael Lobane, she said she had intended to make a comment that was linked to her experience in social scenes while working for QFES.
“When you are in the fire service, you are like a minor celebrity,” Ms Keevers said.
She said when she attended social gatherings, as soon as somehow found out she worked for QFES, they would ask 20 questions and she found it “tiresome”.
Ms Keevers said she was frightened by the “threats” towards Mr Bromilow.
“I was concerned,” she said.
“I was concerned for his family.”
The trial continues.