Alleged Yamba rioters in court

GRAFTON Local Court has set a date to hear the charges arising from the riot at Yamba on February 14 this year.

The solicitors representing nine men and juveniles charged with offences arising from the riot that occurred in the Yamba industrial estate yesterday agreed on a date of October 25 to begin hearing the case. The hearing is likely to go for three weeks.

None of the accused – Glen Leigh Ayres, Robert Douglas Harvey, Jesse Allan Marsden, Craig Jeremy McNeil, Dylan Jason McNeil, Matthew John Newell, Douglas Pearce, Jarrod Raymond Wilson and Jay Robert Winter, or any of the juveniles – were in court yesterday.

The police prosecutor indicated there will be 135 witnesses for the prosecution.

The accused face charges including riot, maliciously damage property by fire, incitement to assault a police officer, resisting arrest, escaping police custody, aiding a person to escape custody and malicious damage.

Police laid the charges after their attempts to subdue the noise levels coming from a party met with resistance that included setting alight to two cars, including a police vehicle.

They allege that when they arrived they were confronted by about 20 people who armed themselves with bricks and began smashing the windows and panels of the police car.

When the officers attempted to intervene they had rocks and bricks thrown at them.

The officers fled on foot and called for back-up. When they left, the paddy-wagon, worth an estimated $50,000, was torched.

Another vehicle belonging to a partygoer was also burnt out.

The officers stayed close to the scene, collecting evidence until support arrived.

Another police vehicle came to their aid and was also pelted with rocks and bricks.

Police from across the command responded to the incident and, dressed in riot gear, arrested 15 people, including the owner of the complex and his wife. Up to 20 police were called to help out in the incident. Coffs-Clarence Area Police Commander Mark Holahan said it was fortunate none of his officers was hurt.

Solicitors for the nine men and the juveniles will be back in court on July 20 for argument over a subpoena they have presented to the Crown. The Crown has resisted parts of the subpoena and the matter will be resolved before a magistrate.

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