Prosecution in murder case reprimanded
MAGISTRATE Roger Clisdell has reluctantly adjourned the case of a man charged with the murder of Luke Browning at St Clair, with a warning to the prosecution he will commit it to trial in the next mention.
On April 4, Mr Browning, 27, was found unconscious and with stab wounds. He died at the scene. Robert Jack Bechalany was ar- rested the next morning. In Penrith Court on Friday, Mr Clisdell expressed his frustrations at the length of time being taken for police to complete their brief on the case, which has kept Mr Bechalany behind bars.
“It’s just not good enough; three months to do police statements?” Mr Clisdell said in court.
“Mr Bechalany has been in custody six months and he is not even in the queue for the District Court, which will take another 12 months.
“The brief must be completed for committal and if you’re not ready, bad luck,” he told the prosecution.
Papers submitted to the court also reveal Mr Bechalany’s wife, Rhonda, has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact.
The papers allege she was present at the murder and assisted in her husband’s attempt to avoid custody.
She remains out on conditional bail after her mother posted a $500,000 bond.
Mr Bechalany did not appear in court but his wife stood in the gallery.
Court papers also reveal he has been charged with aggravated break and enter after he allegedly broke into a home on Mustang Ave at St Clair with “unnamed persons”, stole property and assaulted the occupant just hours before his alleged dispute with Mr Browning was caught on CCTV.
He has also been charged for allegedly repeatedly refusing to reveal who was a driver or passenger in a car registered to him at the time.