Police sent out alerts during the Moranbah assault investigation asking for information about this Holden Commodore utility.
Police sent out alerts during the Moranbah assault investigation asking for information about this Holden Commodore utility.

Moranbah businessman bids for freedom after ‘brutal’ attack

A MORANBAH business owner has been charged after allegedly beating his daughter’s boyfriend, who was hospitalised with life-threatening injuries.

Treespec CQ owner David Rawiri Edwards appeared in Blackwater Magistrates Court via video link today, November 2, from the Moranbah watch-house.

He applied for bail after being arrested on Saturday following ongoing investigations into the alleged “brutal” attack on Justin Karl Herlihy, 47, on September 30.

The court heard Mr Herlihy was in a relationship with one of Mr Edwards’ four daughters.

It was alleged Mr Edwards acted with a co-offender, who allegedly held Mr Herlihy on the ground in a shed at Mr Edwards’s Moranbah property, about 6.30pm on September 30.

Magistrate Robert Walker said Mr Edwards allegedly took a metre long black metal bar and struck the victim in the shin area before striking in other areas including his head, face and arms.

Mr Herlihy was then left in his own car outside his mother’s house on Mills Ave about 7pm.

He was taken to Moranbah Hospital then flown to Mackay with extensive broken bones including lower legs and torso, ribs, face and head fractures.

Mr Edwards was charged on October 31 with acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm.

Mr Walker said the alleged offence was “brutal” and “extremely violent”, causing significant, life threatening injuries.

Lawyer Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi, of Wallace and Wallace Lawyers, appeared via phone in Blackwater Magistrates Court and put forward a range of strict conditions for Mr Edwards to abide by if he were to be released on bail.

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She said Mr Edwards had lived in Moranbah for five years and the two days in the Moranbah watch-house had been a confronting experience for him.

She said the charges were only allegations at this stage and told the court Mr Edwards did not present a risk to the victim or a witness, “with nothing to suggest any further offending would occur”.

Sergeant Kevin Ongheen, who objected to bail, said the alleged attack was a significant offence with a very high level of violence.

Magistrate Walker said the case against Mr Edwards was strong.

“You’re a mature man with no criminal history, you’re engaged in business and your business appears to be performing to the point where you have work ahead of you for several months.”

Mr Walker said if convicted of the very serious offence, Mr Edwards was liable for a significant period of imprisonment, with the maximum penalty for the offence being life imprisonment.

Given the “brutal nature of this offence, including allegations of violence at quite an extreme level”, Mr Walker concluded further risks to the victim was simply unacceptable and could not be addressed through any conditions.

“It’s simply not a risk for a court to take,” he said.

Bail was refused and Mr Edwards was remanded in custody.

The matter was set for a committal mention at Moranbah Magistrates Court on December 10.


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