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Trial date set for alleged arsonist

A woman accused of setting fire to two occupied houses and several other buildings in rural Greytown will stand trial next year.

Maya Moore, a 48-year-old Masterton dairy farmer, has denied charges relating to fires that erupted in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, on Wards Line.

Lawyer Elizabeth Hall appeared on Moore’s behalf in Wellington District Court yesterday.

Hall said she needed an opportunity to speak to her client outside of prison to discuss the possibility of avoiding a jury trial.

“We’re trying to avoid setting this matter down for trial – we very much hoped we would make progress with Miss Moore,” Hall said.

“Arohata Prison has a policy which only allows lawyers to see clients behind a glass screen, and it’s proving difficult to take instructions [from Moore].”

Judge Peter Hobbs signed an “order to produce”, which requires Corrections to transport Moore from prison to court for her appearance, as well as an opportunity to talk to her lawyer, before taking her back to prison.

Moore was remanded in custody until her next court appearance on November 7

Judge Hobbs set a preliminary date for a two-week trial on August 12, 2024.

Police issued a public appeal for sightings of Moore on the day of the fires.

She was found in the early hours of the next morning after she reportedly returned to Wards Line to check on her cows.

Moore faces five charges of arson – she is accused of setting fire to two occupied houses, an implement shed, a hay shed, and a sleepout.

There is also a charge of attempted arson relating to another sleepout at one of the Wards Line properties.

She faces additional charges of wilful damage to a beehive, firearms offences, and a historic charge of burglary relating to an incident in April 2021.

The most serious charges of arson endangering life carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

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