Second bail attempt quashed for sex-accused

A MAN accused of having sex with a girl under the age of 14has been denied bail after applying for release twicein as many months.
Nanjing Night Net

Travis Webster appeared via video link from Cessnock Correctional Facility in Armidale Local Court on Wednesday and was supported in the courtroom by his parents.

He faces three charges of having sexual intercourse with a person between the ages of 10 and 14 years.

The offences are alleged to have occurredbetween January and March this year.

Defence solicitor Glen Kee said thesecond bail application was made on the basis that a police brief of evidence hadinconsistencies.

He told the courtthere were also issues with his client having an alibi for one of the allegedincidents, and the complainant claiming they had only had sex once.

But Mr Kee also acknowledged the prosecution’s brief of evidence served, which included “1000 pages of telephone conversations” between the victim and the defendant.

“It clearly indicates a strong level of communication between [the victim] and my client,” he said.

Facebook conversations were also tendered as evidence but Mr Kee argued it may not be his client in the conversation due to his Facebook profile picture.

“[My client] looks extremely different to the person on screen,” he said.

“There appears to be a serious weakness in the Crown’s case.”

Due to the serious charges and Webster being on district court bail for assault matters, Mr Kee was required to show cause as to why his client should be released.

The defence solicitor said his client’s relatively young age and history of steady employment were reasons he should be granted bail.

“He has a supporting family,” Mr Kee said.

“He is a young person and this is his first time custody.”

However Director of Public Prosecutions solicitor Ben Barrack said Webster should not be granted bail due to the serious nature of the charge, and that he was previously given a suspended sentence.

“On the basis of admissions … the Crown would say it would be likely for pleas of guilty,” Mr Barrack said.

Magistrate Stafford said that, given the evidence before her, she was unable to find significant reason to grant bail.

“At the time Mr Webster was subject to district court bail,” she said.

“I am not satisfied … bail must be refused.”

The matter was adjourned until October 7.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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