Bail request not granted

A PAIR of blood-stained jeans containing DNA evidence, along with a testimony of a co-accused was enough to keep the man charged with a South Grafton home invasion last December behind bars in Grafton Local Court on Monday.

Justin Joseph Chandler (aka Jarrett) was refused bail despite the claims of his defence solicitor Kate Biffin that the jeans were significantly too big for her client and the house they were found in, under a police search warrant, was home to many people. Chandler, 36, of Nambucca Heads is accused of assaulting a man in company while armed with a knife and robbing a home in Bent St about 4am on December 28, 2011.

He was charged on Saturday.

Chandler's solicitor Kate Biffin appealed for bail for her client because, she said, the prosecution's case was weak for several reasons. The case against Chandler, she said, relied heavily on DNA evidence (blood) found on a pair of jeans at Chandler's Maxwell Ave home but that these same jeans were too big for him.

Also, she said, the home where the jeans were found had many people residing in it and the refusal of bail would more than likely mean Chandler would be moved away from his family.

Prosecutor Greg Huxtable then asked for a recess so he could speak with investigating officers. On his return to court Mr Huxtable said officers had obtained statements from one of Chandler's co-accused who was willing to give evidence against the accused.

Police will allege the DNA profiles on the jeans are those of the alleged attacker and his 43-year-old victim. The victim received treat- ment in hospital for cuts to his hand.

In denying bail, Magistrate David Heilpern said the presumption was against bail in charges of this type and it was up to the defence to prove that there were exceptional circumstances. He accepted the prosecution was relying on more than just circumstantial DNA evidence for their case, but also the testimony of a co-accused.

Clarence Edward Drew, 51, of South Grafton has appeared in Grafton Local Court over the same matter but on slightly different charges.

Drew was charged on December 29 and has been refused bail at several appearances since.

Drew and Chandler have both pleaded not guilty and will appear in Grafton Local Court for a committal hearing on October 16.

Topics:  bail, dna evidence



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