Bundaberg court house.
Bundaberg court house. Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT3

'You're dead': Accused torturer refused bail

A MAGISTRATE has refused to accept a case against a Bundaberg man accused of torturing and detaining his partner is "weak", despite the alleged victim withdrawing her complaint.

The 30-year-old man's bail application was refused after he appeared in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court, charged with the domestic violence offences of deprivation of liberty and torture.

The court heard Nathan Leon Charlier had been originally charged, and refused bail, on two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, but those charged were dropped and replaced with the alternative charges.

Making a second bail application last week, defence layer Ross Malcomson argued that, in order for the prosecution to continue to pursue the charges against his client, they would first have to apply to have the woman treated as a hostile witness.

"It will be an issue in respect to a declaration of the complainant as a hostile witness in due course before a trial in the District Court," he said.

Mr Malcomson also said it appeared the prosecution was basing the charge of deprivation of liberty on comments, rather than actions, alleged to have been said by his client.

"An allegation that my client has said to the complainant words to the effect of 'don't be thinking about getting up from that couch or you're dead'," he said.

Mr Malcomson said all the allegations were contested.

He also argued that it would be unjust for Mr Charlier to continue to remain in custody.

"He has been in custody since the 13th of February... it is his first time in custody," he said.

Mr Malcomson said if his client was to be bailed he would have no contact with his partner and would reside more than 100km away from Bundaberg.

But Magistrate Belinda Merrin said she was "unable to accept it was a weak case" against Charlier simply because the woman had withdrawn her complaint.

She said if the prosecution made an application to treat the alleged victim as a hostile witness, the application would rely on material before the court including the woman's original statement, which did "establish very serious offending" and "photos corroborated the original version of events".

While Ms Merrin conceded the prosecution charge of deprivation of liberty was not well made out, she said a jury could convict on the very serious charges.

"Details in the original statement do support the charge of torture," she said. Mr Charlier was refused bail with the matter adjourned until April 26.

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