But the 1,000 hours of community service Laura Barrett, 43, was ordered to do as part of her probation apparently didn’t help.


Barrett pleaded not guilty to multiple arson charges during her arraignment yesterday. She was ordered held on $50,000 bail and sent to a state mental health facility for an evaluation.


The judge at Quincy District Court asked court officers to “keep a close eye” on Barrett because attorneys said she spent Sunday night at Taunton State Hospital after she tried to harm herself while in custody in Quincy.


Barrett’s ex-husband, who was at the courthouse, said he didn’t know how to explain the situation to the couple’s 4-year-old daughter.


“She needs help,” he said. “She’s the nicest person you’ll ever meet when she’s sober.”

She pleaded guilty in 2004 to burning the contents of a building and was ordered to five years of probation, community service at the hospital for burn victims and to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, according to court documents.

It was not immediately clear what exactly she burned.

Barrett also pleaded guilty in 2002 to attempted arson charges.