Nightclub assault accused denied bail

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Stirling Terrace.
Camera IconStirling Terrace. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

An Albany man accused of assaulting father Matt Skeet outside Studio 146 nightclub has been denied bail after he was deemed a “flight risk” and could reoffend if released.

Cody Lee Nathan Bennell, 23, pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm during a bail application in Albany Magistrate’s Court last Thursday.

The alleged details surrounding the assault were revealed during Mr Bennell’s bail application where the court was told Mr Skeet was kicked to the head causing him to fall and suffer a fractured skull.

Police prosecutors strongly opposed the bail application, saying they were concerned there was a likelihood Mr Bennell would reoffend.

Sergeant Nathan Parkey told the court Mr Bennell had been at the nightclub and was intoxicated and had also taken MDMA and words were exchanged with Mr Skeet and his friend as they walked across Stirling Terrace.

Sgt Parkey said Mr Bennell then kicked Mr Skeet with “full force” to the head causing him to fall.

Defence lawyer Janie Gibbs said the CCTV did not tell the full story and her client had acted out of concerns for his friend’s safety after an earlier “confrontation”.

She said Mr Bennell was prepared to comply with conditions such as a night-time curfew, random urinalysis and report to police when required to alleviate any concerns.

Ms Gibbs said Mr Bennell could be faced with spending close to 12 months in jail waiting for a trial if he was not bailed.

Sgt Parkey pointed to Mr Bennell avoiding police detection for two years after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest in January 2016 as a significant reason why bail should not be granted.

He said the prosecution case was still building and believed there was a strong prospect of conviction.

“No conditions you could put in place he can abide by,” he said.

“The action was excessive and the force was excessive.”

Magistrate Raelene Johnston said she was not satisfied conditions could be put in place and due to the nature of the allegation refused bail.

Mr Bennell will next appear in court on November 1.

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