MULTIPLE men have been refused bail in a Tamworth court after three separate police pursuits during the country music festival put the community at "extreme risk".
Nathan James Opie appeared from custody via video link in Tamworth Local Court after he was arrested following an alleged police chase.
The 29-year-old is accused of driving a black Kia at a dangerous speed on Carter Street, Ebsworth Street, Bridge Street, and Kable Avenue at about 2pm on January 25, 2024.
The Oxley Vale man is also facing charges of police pursuit not stop; driving while disqualified; and exceeding speed by more than 45 kilometres.
"It's very erratic, dangerous driving through the streets," police prosecutor Sergeant John Brissett said.
The court heard police were also concerned about a string of alleged drug offences, including supplying and possessing methamphetamine; possessing cannabis; and dealing with $4900 with reasonable grounds to suspect it is the proceeds of crime.
"We believe if bail is granted further offending will occur," Sergeant Brissett said.
Opie's Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) solicitor offered up a number of strict bail conditions in a bid to have the 29-year-old released from custody.
She said Opie was willing to comply with house arrest; steer clear of driving; keep out of the driver's seat of any car; and report daily to police.
Magistrate Julie Soars said the allegations were "extremely serious" and refused the 29-year-old bail. He will remain behind bars until the matter returns to court in March.
In a separate matter, Grafton man Henry William Hillier was also refused bail for an alleged police chase in South Tamworth on January 26, 2024.
It's alleged the 36-year-old was riding a Yamaha motorcycle at about 9:15pm on the night in question when a police pursuit was sparked.
Hillier is also accused of driving never licenced; and riding the motorcycle without fixed number plates.
The 36-year-old appeared in court via video link from custody when his Legal Aid defence solicitor told the court he was not in a position to enter pleas to the allegations.
The court heard Hillier was on parole when the alleged offending occurred, and Sergeant Brissett said the 36-year-old had an "extensive" criminal record.
"This is a very strong prosecution case," he said.
Ms Soars said she was concerned about the safety of the community, and ordered Hillier to stay behind bars.
The matter will return to court in February.
James Albert Traverso was also refused bail after he admitted to driving while disqualified during a police pursuit in Westdale.
The 28-year-old appeared from custody via video link when he pleaded guilty to the charges which stem from a police chase at about 12:45pm on January 25.
Traverso also pleaded guilty to possessing two small clear resealable bags believed to contain methamphetamine, however the police facts remain in dispute.
The 28-year-old pleaded not guilty to having custody of a knife on Drummond Street in Oxley Vale; and hinder or resisting a police officer in execution of their duty.
Sergeant Brissett said Traverso's driving put the public at "extreme risk" and opposed granting him bail.
Ms Soars refused the 28-year-old bail, he will remain in custody until the matter returns to the same court in March.