***Please refrain from commenting on guilt as this matter is before the courts.
THE man accused of snatching an elderly woman’s handbag and leaving her for dead will remain behind bars this Christmas.
Samuel Glen Tighe, 21, failed in his bid yesterday to be released on bail after he was charged with aggravated robbery.
Police will allege the 21-year-old stole 79-year-old Ursula Bakker’s handbag in Tamworth’s City Plaza car park on Thursday about 4pm.
The woman resisted when confronted from behind and, during the struggle, fell to the ground.
She suffered a bleed on the brain, a broken shoulder, broken eye socket, broken nose and bruising and remains in hospital recovering from the injuries.
Magistrate Roger Prowse said the community needed to be protected from Tighe.
“It seems to be a strong Crown case to me,” he said.
“You are a clear flight risk.”
Crown prosecutor Rob Baillie opposed bail on the seriousness of the offence but solicitor for the accused, Fiona Hadlington, said her client could live in Moree while the case proceeds.
“No one would disagree with me ... this is an incredibly serious matter,” she told the court.
But she added Tighe could report to police every day to satisfy strict bail conditions.
The 21-year-old appeared via videolink from Tamworth Correctional Centre where he has been since he was refused bail in an out-of-sessions hearing on Sunday morning.
Tighe remained silent throughout the proceedings but was supported in court by family members.
Ms Hadlington argued there were issues that could arise down the track and affect the strength of the case.
“ID would be an issue and that may affect the prosecution case. There are certainly issues with identification,” she said.
Witnesses to the incident rushed to the victim’s side before police and paramedics were called and she was taken to hospital.
Police have taken statements from locals who they will allege recognised Tighe as the offender who fled the scene with the handbag.
The handbag was later recovered and has been seized for forensic testing.
Tighe did not enter a plea yesterday and a brief of evidence has been ordered before the case returns to court in February.
Tighe will remain in custody until then.