Inverell man wants to speed up case involving 7 alleged child sexual abuse victims

Lawyers of a 53-year-old Inverell man facing a raft of historical child sexual abuse charges said that their client wants to find the "quickest pathway to get the matter to trial". 

The accused, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the seven alleged victims, did not appear in Inverell Court on Friday, June 8, but his lawyers told magistrate Michael Daikin that time has become an important issue for their client who has been in custody since September last year for charges made in June 2017. 

A string of fresh charges following the initial ones could result in a drawn out process which the accused hopes to expedite. The most recently laid charges were taken to court in April and are set to appear before court for mention on June 28. 

An application 91/93, pertaining to the original charges, was made in April. According to this application, witnesses or alleged victims could be called to give evidence in local court at a committal hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to commit the charges to the district court or if the charges should be dismissed. 

Magistrate Daikin heard that the accused is concerned about the length of time in custody. In order to accelerate the judicial process, all matters will now be listed for committal on June 28, along with the more recent charges.

If the defendant is committed for trial, these will then be brought to the district court for arraignment in August on the basis that the accused attends via video link to ventilate some of the issues. A trial date would then be set. 

The first charges, made in June last year, dated back to 15 years ago. There are now 42 charges in total affecting seven child victims for offences alleged to have occurred between 2002 to 2017. 

The accused remains bail-refused and did not appear via video link on Friday as had been expected. None of the alleged victims appeared in court to watch the proceedings.