Jesse Leigh Green, Benjamin Kennedy and Bennie McCarthy charged with break-in offences, cases adjourned in Tamworth court

In court: Bennie McCarthy outside Tamworth Local Court this week. He is yet to enter pleas to break-in and trespass charges. Photo: Peter Hardin
In court: Bennie McCarthy outside Tamworth Local Court this week. He is yet to enter pleas to break-in and trespass charges. Photo: Peter Hardin

THREE men accused of aggravated break-ins across Tamworth will return to court in a month as their solicitors examine the evidence against them.

Bennie McCarthy, Benjamin Kennedy and Jesse Leigh Green are accused of property-related offences in Tamworth in March.

The pair, along with Green, were arrested in coordinated raids by Oxley police and investigators from Strike Force Penola – the operation set-up to probe the killing of Tamworth mother Teah Luckwell.

In early-April, detectives were examining whether several aggravated break-ins in the week of Ms Luckwell’s death could be linked to the investigation.

This week, Strike Force Penola police confirmed they had discounted several lines of inquiry, and McCarthy and Kennedy have not been charged. Green has been charged with the murder of Ms Luckwell.

A number of people were suspected of having involvement in this homicide, and that is not unusual in investigations of this nature, for numerous lines of inquiry to present themselves at the start.

Homicide squad Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin

“A number of people were suspected of having involvement in this homicide, and that is not unusual in investigations of this nature, for numerous lines of inquiry to present themselves at the start,” Homicide squad Detective Chief Inspector Gary Jubelin told The Leader on Tuesday.

“Those lines of inquiry have been followed up and certain things have been discounted.”

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McCarthy, 27, is accused of an aggravated break-and-enter in Robert Street between March 24-25.

Benjamin Kennedy, 40, is charged with aggravated break-and-enter after an alleged incident at a property in Jill Street on March 10.

Kennedy and Green did not appear in Tamworth Local Court this week when their cases were mentioned, while McCarthy was supported by his partner in court.

The court heard McCarthy was charged with one fresh offence of entering inclosed lands. All three were not required to enter pleas.

DPP solicitor Jai Silkman told the court the briefs of evidence would be served at court or on that day.

It’s just been served … I received a copy this morning.

DPP Solicitor Jai Silkman

“It’s just been served … I received a copy this morning,” he said.

Magistrate Julie Soars adjourned all three cases to consider the evidence. Kennedy and Green made no application for bail and it was formally refused, while McCarthy’s was continued.

Green faces seven charges in total including murder.

According to court documents, Green is accused of breaking into an Ernst Street house in Oxley Vale between 8 and 11pm on March 27 and stealing from the house, knowing there were people inside at the time.

He’s also accused of unlawfully obtaining goods, namely a Samsung phone and black iPhone, at Oxley Vale at the same time. Police allege the goods were stolen and Green had them at his premises in Calala.

Detectives will allege Green also had a 40cm knife that he used to intimidate a woman between 4.10am-4.30am on March 28 – around the same time of the alleged murder.

He’s accused of then attempting to break into the same woman’s property in Robert Street while armed with the knife, between 4am-4.30am.

Green also faces charges of larceny of an Apple Ipad worth $500 between 8am and 8.20am on March 28 in South Tamworth as well as larceny of two suitcases of clothing and two laptops between 5.30 and 5.35pm at Hornsby in Sydney.