Two teenage girls will be called to give evidence against their stepfather who is accused of murdering their mother in a house fire, a court has been told.
Police allege Roland James Griffiths poured petrol on himself, his wife and her 16-year-old daughter before setting the trio on fire at their St Albans home in Melbourne’s west in March last year.
Kylie Griffiths, 36, died from injuries two days later but Mr Griffiths and his stepdaughter Tyra survived, as did four other siblings inside at the time.
Roland Griffiths, 39, is facing charges of murder and attempted murder. Picture: Supplied
The 39-year-old spent two months in hospital under police guard until he was charged with murder and attempted murder in May.
Court documents show police allege he was drunk at the time and had been involved in arguments with family members.
The case on Monday returned to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, which was told three teenage members of the family, Tyra, her sister and brother, would be called to give evidence at a multi-day committal hearing next week.
A committal hearing is an important step in the judicial process, where the evidence against an accused person is heard.
The presiding magistrate then determines if the prosecution has provided sufficient evidence for a jury to find the accused person guilty.
Roland and Kylie Griffiths on their wedding day in December 2021. Picture: Supplied
Before magistrate Malcolm Thomas, lawyers acting for both the defence and prosecution met to discuss plans to make the process as comfortable as possible for the three child witnesses.
These included the use of simple language, regular breaks and the use of a therapy dog while court-appointed intermediaries assist them to give evidence.
Mr Griffiths, who is represented by barrister John Saunders, will face the same court next Monday.