Jay Winter outside Maclean Court yesterday after the charges against him for his alleged part in the 2010 Valentines Day Yamba riot were dismissed.
Jay Winter outside Maclean Court yesterday after the charges against him for his alleged part in the 2010 Valentines Day Yamba riot were dismissed. Rodney Stevens

Winter walks a free man

A JUBILANT Jay Winter walked from Maclean Court yesterday a free man.

Mr Winter was able to put behind him more than 12 months of uncertainty after charges against him for his alleged part in last year’s Valentine’s Day Yamba riot were dismissed.

When his solicitor Neil Johnson heard the prosecution had wrapped up its case, he sprung to address whether his client had a case to answer.

“There is no case to answer in respect of Mr Winter,” he said to Magistrate David Andrews.

The prosecution then conceded he had no case to answer.

Mr Andrews then dismissed the six charges in relation to Mr Winter, which included, riot, malicious damage by fire, malicious damage and incite to assault police.

Outside the court immediately after the charges were dismissed, a relieved Mr Winter told The Daily Examiner he was happy.

“I knew I did nothing wrong,” he said.

Before Mr Winter’s charges were dismissed, Senior Constable Matthew Gosper took to the witness stand and was played audio recordings taken from the Maclean police vehicle on the night.

Sen Const Gosper was questioned by Craig McNeill’s defence barrister, Peter O’Connor, if he could hear his voice on the recording.

After the recording was played a number of times, he said “I still can’t hear my voice, I can hear Senior Constable Hembrow’s, Constable Hardwick’s and Senior Constable Hill’s.”

In reference to his client, Mr O’Connor asked if Sen Const Gosper could hear either Sen Cnst Hembrow or Cnst Hardwick say “Can I go and punch the c..p out of him.”

Sen Cnst Gosper said he couldn’t.

Mr O’Connor then sought a temporary stay in proceedings until Sen Const Hill could give evidence in relation to several requests by his client that police were asked to leave his property as they were trespassing.

This was opposed by five representatives of other defendants and declined by Mr Andrews.

One of the nine remaining accused adults, Craig McNeill, then took the stand as the first defence witness.

Mr McNeill gave evidence of police coming to the Yamba residence owned by his wife, Maxine, four times before midnight to patrol the area and ask that the music at the party be turned down.

He said he repeatedly told police they were on private property, handed them a document to show the property boundaries and said if they were to return, to bring a warrant.

The trial continues today.



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