Bail refused: woman held under new laws

THE state’s tough new bail laws that came into effect this week have had their first test in Tamworth.

In Tamworth Local Court yesterday, a woman charged with three offences was refused bail in an appearance after the court found there was “no evidence as to why detention was not justified”.

The “show cause” hearing was triggered after the court was told the woman was on parole when she allegedly committed a strictly indictable offence.

It was the first “show cause” bail determination in the region under the amended laws, which came into force on Wednesday.

Those charged with serious offences must now prove they should not be held in custody.

Senior Tamworth police were brought up to speed on the new laws this week.

They joined thousands of their counterparts across the state as well as solicitors, the judiciary and Department of Justice staff who have been trained under the legislation.

Those deemed an unacceptable risk will be refused bail under the new laws.

In making bail determinations, magistrates, judges and Supreme Court justices will also have to consider risk factors such as criminal associations, victims’ views and any history of non-compliance with bail and court orders.

“This applies to crimes punishable by life imprisonment, the sexual assault of a child, serious firearm and drug offences, repeat personal violence offences and any serious indictable offence committed while a person is on bail or parole,” Attorney-General Brad Hazzard said.

“This is about keeping the state’s most dangerous criminals off the streets so we can better protect the community.”

The state government is touting the laws, which it maintains should make the community feel safer.

“From now, new laws make it very clear that those who pose an unacceptable risk, as defined in the legislation, should no longer be released on bail,” Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said.

“In the case of certain serious offences, the onus will be on the accused to show why their detention in custody is not justified.”

The state government has confirmed a Bail Monitoring Group, made up of police and representatives from justice agencies, will continue to review the laws to ensure they are operating effectively.

Former attorney-general John Hatzistergos will deliver a final report midway through the year.

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

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