A TAMWORTH man has appeared in court for the first time after detectives charged him with aggravated filming of a child’s private parts.
The 57-year-old cannot be named by order of the court and sat in the dock of Tamworth Local Court, after previously being refused bail for possessing child abuse material.
Detectives now also allege he filmed a 13-year-old girl on September 28, 2014, in Tamworth.
He is charged with one count of aggravated filming of a person’s private parts without consent.
He was issued a court attendance notice for that matter while in custody, accused of possessing child abuse material between November 2016 and 2017 in Tamworth. He had been arrested by Oxley detectives in Tamworth in September.
Solicitor Garry Johnston lodged a bid to have the cases suppressed, but The Leader lodged an objection in court against the granting of a suppression order on the entire case, arguing the matter was in the public interest to be reported.
DPP solicitor Andrew Baker said one of the charges before the court did not identify an alleged victim, and he didn’t believe an order suppressing the publication of the case was needed.
“The Crown says there aren’t exceptional circumstances,” he said.
Mr Johnston said the charges could end up at trial and the publication of the case could affect it.
“I’m very concerned about any details in the public arena,” he told the court.
“Already there is some talk in the community about my client and what has occurred.”
Already there is some talk in the community about my client and what has occurred.- Solicitor Garry Johnston
Mr Johnston said his client was “widely known” to some parts of the community and that could make it more difficult to select a jury, which was what had prompted him to “re-agitate this particular application”.
“It’s a small town, people, people are already talking,” he told the court, asking that it “nip that in the bud”.
“I already have concerns.”
A non-publication order was made on the case when the accused was denied bail on September 25 after his Tamworth arrest.
Mr Baker said the entire case did not need to be suppressed, saying the primary objective of the court was to safeguard the public interest in open justice and the “media is entitled to inform the public”.
He said that, if the matter went to trial, the jury would be given warnings and directions from the judge.
Magistrate Julie Soars ruled a non-publication order be placed on the accused’s name and the complainant but not the case or the charges.
On the fresh charge, police prosecutor Matt Pawsey told the court a brief of evidence was needed and it had been referred to the DPP, which could see it head for trial or sentence in the district court.
“The DPP have elected,” he told the court.
Mr Baker said the child abuse possession “brief is compliant” and an adjournment for charge certification was needed.
“I’ll mark [the accused] ‘bail not applied for, refused’,” Ms Soars said.
The cases have been adjourned to January.
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