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Assault accused fails in second bid for bail

Friday 9 February 2024 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National


Assault accused fails in second bid for bail

A man charged with a raft of offences related to the mother of his child, has had another charge added, and again failed in his bid for freedom.

Judge Romeo Nee Nee faces four charges of assaulting a female and single charges of breaching a protection order, and assault with intent to injure.

At the Criminal Court on Thursday, a charge of unlawful detainment was added.

Nee Nee, in custody, appeared in court where Crown prosecutor Jamie Crawford repeatedly raised concerns.

Crawford said the charge of unlawful detainment carried a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

Crown opposed bail at the risk of reoffending and interference with the alleged victim.

Crawford said she was aware the victim had been to visit him in jail but still feared him.

The Crown would ask for strict bail conditions if he wanted bail.

While the couple had a child together, there needed to be conditions to stop him reoffending, Crawford said.

From the dock, Nee Nee said he had a letter to pass on to Justice of the Peace Vania Kenning through the court registrar.

JP Kenning asked him if he was intending to use the services of a lawyer.

The defendant said he was and that he had not yet received disclosure.

He wanted to see disclosure and seek legal advice before entering a plea.

JP Kenning took several minutes to read and give the letter consideration.

Crawford said disclosure could be given to a lawyer and that Crown Law could assist with finding the defendant a lawyer.

Nee Nee then said the victim had visited him in jail twice in the past week and told him she was not afraid of him.

He said she had told him to not plead guilty.

“I feel like there is a lot of miscommunication with the Crown.”

JP Kenning said she wanted to get feedback on the matter, in moving forward, agreeing with the defendant that there were two stories.

JP Kenning asked how long it would take to get bail conditions sorted and what they would look like.

Crawford said she would be happy to discuss those matters with a lawyer, and it depended on how quickly a lawyer could be found.

Again, Crawford said, releasing Nee Nee into the community without conditions in place was a risk.

JP Kenning asked Crawford if she had some idea.

Crawford said there would need to be an appropriate address and no contact with the alleged victim.

Any contact would have to be made through a family member.

A protection order was still in place and Crawford said she would speak to the alleged victim.

JP Kenning said it was highly recommended that Nee Nee engage a lawyer, so discussions could be held between the Crown and the lawyer.

“The victim will need to be reminded that her contacting could jeopardise your case,” JP Keening told the defendant.

Nee Nee said he could get a lawyer if he was able to get bail, as he could return to work and pay for a lawyer.

He said his parents were in court, and that he was incarcerated in maximum security with no access to a telephone.

Crawford said the defendant was entitled to speak to a lawyer.

JP Kenning said she would exercise caution and recommended he engage a lawyer.

The defendant then said he had been in custody for 16 days, and had asked prison wardens for assistance, but been told no.

“The Crown will help you, Ms Crawford, I will leave it in your hands to assist,” JP Kenning said.

Again, the defendant spoke, saying he wanted bail with curfew conditions, and that he stay with his parents.

He said he had been advised by his mother that the alleged victim had told her, she did not fear for her life.

“I think, for your protection, I will give you a week to find a lawyer,” JP Kenning said.

Crawford then said she had been in touch with lawyer Michelle Tangimama and discussions could get underway.

JP Kenning then told the defendant the matter could be recalled on Friday (today) or on Monday.

“The Crown says it needs to be clear in terms of you and the victim; the protection order is on you, if someone is trying to penetrate it then you need to protect yourself.”

Tangimama then appeared in the courtroom.

Crawford said she had explained the situation to her.

Tangimama said she had received instructions and would be seeking an adjournment so she could have discussions around bail.

JP Kenning then asked if the matter should be stood down.

Crawford said she would need to talk to the victim, which would take a couple of hours, then asked how long the court had.

JP Kenning said the rest of the day.

“I don’t want to rush, maybe tomorrow morning,” Crawford said.

“I think tomorrow,” Tangimama said.

The matter is set down to be heard in the Criminal Court today.

Nee Nee made multiple attempts to gain his freedom when he appeared in the Criminal Court on January 25.