Trial date set for accused Piha arsonist Cory Marson-Wood

Cory Marson-Wood, the teenager accused of lighting a number of fires at Piha Beach.
CHRIS SKELTON/STUFF

Cory Marson-Wood, the teenager accused of lighting a number of fires at Piha Beach.

The teenager charged with lighting a raft of fires at a West Auckland beach community will go to trial in March next year. 

Cory Marson-Wood, 19, appeared in the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty. 

He will defend three charges of arson and one charge of burglary at a trial in the first week of March next year. 

Piha Beach, in West Auckland, where the fires occurred.
Fiona Goodall

Piha Beach, in West Auckland, where the fires occurred.

Marson-Wood lived in the west coast settlement of Piha, where the majority of fires occurred.

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The summary of facts shows the first fire started at the ANZ Viaduct Event Centre when a paper recycling bin was set alight.

A passing staff member was able to extinguish the fire. At the time of the incident 934 guests were attending a function at the centre.

Marson-Wood is later accused of lighting a fire near the Tasman View walkway at Piha using an accelerant. The fire developed into a large forest fire and threatened the safety of houses in the area. Residents had to be evacuated and many fire crews were needed to douse the flames. 

The fire consumed seven hectares of natural reserve.

Marson-Wood is also accused of lighting a fire at a unit in the back of the Piha Surf Lifesaving club near a takeaway outlet, which caused significant damage.

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He was remanded in custody until his next appearance in September. 

 - Stuff

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