Man accused of Grafton murder refused bail
THE man accused of murdering a prison inmate at Grafton Correctional Facility eight years ago has had an application for bail denied in Grafton Local Court yesterday.
Shane Leslie Johnson was arrested and charged with murder in Port Adelaide, South Australia, in August this year after officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District initiated inquiries into the assault of 53-year-old Ian Klum in a shared cell in Grafton Correctional Centre on Thursday June 10, 2010.
Mr Klum died four days later in Princess Alexandra Hospital in Queensland.
Strike Force Keevin was formed to investigate Mr Klum's death, and following two Coronial hearings, a warrant was issued in September 2015 for the arrest of the man's former cellmate.
Following extensive investigations, information was provided that Mr Johnson, now aged 58, may be living in South Australia, where he was arrested and extradited in August over the alleged murder.
In Grafton Local Court on Monday, Mr Johnson appeared via audio-visual link and his solicitor made an application for Mr Johnson to be released from custody on bail to await trial.
Mr Johnson's solicitor said his client was named as a person of interest in a coronial inquest, and now police are asking the courts to incarcerate Mr Johnson while waiting for trial, where he is yet to enter a plea for the charge.
Mr Johnson's solicitor also submitted Mr Klum's injuries were not consistent with police allegations, and the reliability of witnesses was questionable given the length of time since the alleged incident.
Magistrate Karen Stafford said the onus was on Mr Johnson to show why his ongoing detention was not justified. While Ms Stafford noted Mr Johnson's solicitor's submissions in regards to weaknesses in the Crown Prosecutor's case, Ms Stafford said she did not believe the defence had shown cause as to why Mr Johnson should be released and that she believed the Crown had a sufficiently strong case to deny Mr Johnson's bail application.
Ms Stafford said the Crown Prosecutor opposed the application for bail.
Ms Stafford noted Mr Johnson had a record of non-compliance with previous court orders, and there was an unacceptable risk in failure to appear to future court dates should Mr Johnson be released on bail, and that given the allegation there was an "overwhelming" incentive to flee.
The case was adjourned to January 8 next year.