Donald Pegus refused bail in Tamworth court charged with Carthage St robberyand indecent assault

Bail refused: Donald Pegus lodged a bid for bail but was denied release in Tamworth Local Court on Thursday morning.
Bail refused: Donald Pegus lodged a bid for bail but was denied release in Tamworth Local Court on Thursday morning.

AN 18-year-old has been denied bail accused of indecently assaulting a woman and robbing her of her handbag in East Tamworth.

Magistrate Roger Prowse said Donald Pegus was an unacceptable risk of committing further serious offences and endangering the safety of the community, and consequently had to be remanded in custody.

Pegus was arrested on Wednesday afternoon after police surrounded a block of houses in South Tamworth and found him hiding in a bush in the yard of a Petra Ave home.

He was charged with assaulting a 36-year-old woman with an act of indecency and robbery after an incident about 2.30am on Sunday in Carthage St.

“Your record shows a long list of matters … suspended sentences have been imposed and called up,” Mr Prowse told Tamworth Local Court on Thursday morning.

“In other words there is a clear pattern of you not complying with court orders.”

The court was told Pegus, who lodged an application for release in court, had breaches of bail on his record in the past and was “on conditional liberty at the moment”.

Solicitor Ben Curnow conceded there was a strong case against his client for the robbery but argued the indecent assault allegation had not been established.

“It doesn’t appear to be made out in the police facts,” he said.

Mr Curnow argued the teenager, who has a young child, could live with family in West Tamworth under house arrest, arguing he “had strong community ties”.

But Mr Prowse said the court’s confidence in Pegus to “comply with conditions is either non-existent or low”.

“Bail is refused,” he said.

According to police facts, Pegus tried to kiss and fondle the woman’s breasts between 2.30 and 3am on Sunday, and robbed her of her handbag which contained $80 in cash, debit cards and other items.

Police allege Pegus followed the woman from a local hotel, and on the corner of Marius and Brisbane Streets, asked her and a friend to go to a party, before they told him to go away.

The women parted ways and police allege Pegus is seen on CCTV following the 36-year-old woman up Brisbane St towards Cathage St, where the alleged assault and robbery occurred.

The woman managed to escape from the offender’s grip and ran to a nearby fire station and banged on the door, before calling a friend for help who alerted police.