Attempted murder, arson suspect back in court

Andre Harvey Richard accused of setting house on fire with family inside

Andre Harvey Richard

Andre Harvey Richard

A Langley man accused of trying to kill his estranged wife and two children by setting fire to their Willoughby-area home in April will make an appearance in Surrey Provincial Court Thursday (July 17).

Andre Harvey Richard faces three counts of attempted murder, as well as charges of arson, break-and-enter and breaching a restraining order.

In addition, he faces four counts of assault with a weapon — involving two victims, each allegedly assaulted with two different weapons, and two counts each of assault causing bodily harm. He has remained behind bars since his arrest.

The appearance is likely to be brief and may pertain to a bail application.

Richard is accused of going to his wife’s home around 1 a.m. on April 2 and setting fire to it, before entering her bedroom and assaulting her with a pair of weapons. When the woman’s 14-year-old daughter tried to intervene, police say she was also assaulted.

The three victims managed to escape the burning home and fled to a neighbour’s house, where 911 was called. A manhunt began and Richard was arrested in Fernie, B.C., near the Alberta border, more than 24 hours later.

Since the fire, the community has come together to support the family, by providing gift cards and cash to a trust account at CIBC. A fundraiser was also held recently at Champers in Walnut Grove, with the cast members of Big Brothers Canada. It raised $3,000 for the family.

The 14-year-old daughter, with help from her aunt, has been creating a new support group to help others like her who have suffered through domestic violence. Healing Our Hurting Hearts should be up and running in Langley at the start of the school year.