Abduction accused is refused bail

A SOUTH Grafton man accused last week of abducting and assaulting his eight-week-old son has been refused bail amid concerns for the welfare of the baby and the baby’s mother.

The 35-year-old man, whose name has been suppressed to protect the identity of the victims, was calm when he appeared at Grafton Local Court yesterday.

Wearing grey stubbies and a yellow striped polo shirt, the accused sat quietly in the dock as his solicitor applied for bail.

Solicitor Kate Biffen, of the Aboriginal Legal Services, told the court her client had a history of mental health issues, including depression, for which he’d been receiving treatment.

She said he had been caught in a cycle of depression since his former partner died of cancer in 2007. Not able to cope with his grief, she said he gave up his job and was brought to Grafton by his family for a visit.

He met a local woman and began a relationship that saw him relocate to the Clarence Valley in 2008.

Ms Biffen said bail was sought so he could continue his mental health treatment.

Magistrate Kim Pogson refused the application, saying he had ‘grave concerns’ for the victims. Further, he said the charges had no presumption of bail and the offences were serious, with the defendant going to jail if convicted.

The man is facing 10 charges, including the strictly indictable offence of taking/detaining a child with intent to remove him from parental control. The Director of Public Prosecutions will prosecute that charge in the District Court.

In relation to the baby’s mother, he also faces three counts of contravening an apprehended violence order, stalking, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

In relation to his treatment of the baby, he is charged with common assault and taking action that results in physical damage.

Police have also charged him with maliciously destroying property.

The man was arrested in South Grafton’s Bimble Avenue early Thursday after he allegedly broke the window of a car in Vere Street, South Grafton, on Wednesday night and took the baby from inside the car.

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