Oak Flats man vows to set fire to himself

An Oak Flats man doused his lounge room in petrol and threatened to set himself alight on Thursday night, Wollongong Local Court has heard.

Mitchell Ryan Galke, who suffers from bipolar disorder, isaccused of throwing fuel over the carpet in his lounge room before warning his elderly grandmother that he wanted to "set himself alight".

Opposing the 29-year-old's bid for bail yesterday, police said there was concern for the welfare of Galke's family, claiming only police intervention had prevented the incident from becoming more serious.

Police allege Galke was out walking on Thursday night when he became involved in an argument with the people living in his grandmother's Oak Flats house.

He returned home but soon started threatening to set himself alight, the court was told.

Galke allegedly grabbed a can of fuel and began throwing it over the carpet in the lounge room.

Police claim he then warned his grandmother to leave the house as he wanted to "set himself alight".

A struggle allegedly occurred between the pair, as the elderly woman tried to stop Galke from harming himself, but the woman refused to provide any further details to police.

Officers arrived a short time later and allegedly saw a pile of papers in the loungeroom with a green lighter nearby.

They could also smell petrol in the room, the court heard.

Galke was charged with two counts of intimidation and one charge of damaging property by fire.

Police believed Galke was capable of carrying out his threats, the court heard.

Solicitor Angela Melouney, representing Galke, said her client had no criminal record and suffered from mental health issues, noting he had been "exceptionally unwell" at the time of the alleged incident.

Ms Melouney said Galke would agree to stay away from his grandmother's tenants.

Registrar Tina McKenna granted Galke strict conditional bail, ordering him to report to police and continue to receive treatment for his mental health.

The matter was adjourned to January 8.

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