Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki, 64, died in the allegedly deliberately lit fire at his rural property at Smiths Creek, 40 kilometres north west of Lismore, on August 15. Photo: Channel 9
Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki, 64, died in the allegedly deliberately lit fire at his rural property at Smiths Creek, 40 kilometres north west of Lismore, on August 15. Photo: Channel 9

Cult leader murder case: Police still gathering evidence

POLICE are still gathering evidence in the case against a teenager accused of murdering a former cult leader in Kyogle, a court has heard.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with murder, inappropriately interfering with a corpse and destroying property.

Emergency crews were called to reports a property on Smiths Creek Rd, Smiths Creek, west of Kyogle was on fire, on August 16.

It is alleged the body of 64-year-old Chen – also known as Scott – Czarnecki was found in the remnants of the home, according to court documents.

Mr Czarnecki was a former leader of the secretive religious sect Twelve Tribes in Picton, which was known for its harsh disciplining of young children.

He had reportedly moved to northern NSW after leaving the controversial sect about a decade ago.

The teen appeared via video link in Lismore Children’s Court on Friday.

The NSW Police Prosecutor told the court police were still finalising evidence for one of the charges against the teen and required more time.

Magistrate Paul MacMahon ordered that the brief must be provided to the teen’s legal team by February 12.

He adjourned the matters to February 26 for further mention.

The teen is also charged with a separate apprehended violence order, which is not connected to the alleged murder of Mr Czarnecki.

Mr MacMahon ordered the interim AVO to continue until the teen’s next court appearance.

The teen has entered no formal pleas to any of his charges and did not apply for bail on Friday.