A COURT has heard the man accused of trying to blow up a fish and chip shop was months behind on rent when he was evicted.

Joseph Palermo, 40, owed his landlord Luciano Menniti about $58,000 when he first tried to evict them in March 2013, Tweed Heads Local Court heard today.

Mr Palermo, of Pacific Pines in Queensland, has been charged with two counts of dishonestly, for financial gain, damaging property by fire.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Police have alleged Mr Palermo was responsible for two incidents at the shop then known as Menniti Seafood in Tweed Heads on January 7 and 11 in 2014.

Prosecutor Gary Rowe tendered to the court CCTV footage showing two figures running away from the southern side of the River Terrace shop at 1.22am on January 7, 2014.

When staff arrived later that morning, they found gas bottles tipped over and emptied.

Defence solicitor Carl Edwards argued the video should not be accepted as evidence.

“I would submit this evidence doesn’t assist at all so it shouldn’t be admitted,” Mr Edwards said.