Bail re­fused for man ac­cused of tor­ture

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A MAN who has been in cus­tody since Jan­uary 2013 had his ap­pli­ca­tion for bail re­fused in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day.

Ja­son Ryan Felt­house stands charged with kid­nap­ping, tor­ture and three counts of as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing bod­ily harm. The of­fences al­legedly oc­curred in Cannonvale on Jan­uary 19 and 20.

De­fence so­lic­i­tor Sher­rie Meade said Felt­house was ini­tially ar­rested in Septem­ber 2012 on about 41 dif­fer­ent charges, 28 of which he pleaded not guilty to. The of­fences of tor­ture, kid­nap and as­sault, for which he was ar­rested in Jan­uary 2013, are al­leged to have hap­pened while th­ese mat­ters were still on­go­ing. Ms Meade said Felt­house was im­me­di­ately re­manded in cus­tody due to the sug­ges­tion that he was not an ap­pro­pri­ate per­son to be granted bail. How­ever, she claimed there were “a lot of in­con­sis­ten­cies” in the wit­ness state­ments and raised the point that many of Felt­house’s pre­vi­ous charges had been dis­missed.

Po­lice prose­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Cas­sells main­tained that Felt­house should re­main in jail, par­tially due to a risk of in­ter­fer­ing with wit­nesses.

Ms Cas­sells also said that with Felt­house’s his­tory of sig­nif­i­cant vi­o­lence, breach­ing bail and fail­ing to ap­pear, “ef­fec­tively he’s the full gamut of con­cerns for the court when con­sid­er­ing bail”.

Ms Meade said th­ese were opin­ions, not fact.

“It could be pos­si­ble Your Hon­our that maybe he’s in­no­cent and he should be given the op­por­tu­nity to prove his in­no­cence un­til proven guilty,” she said.

Mag­is­trate Ron Muir­head ruled that Felt­house was an “un­ac­cept­able risk” and on th­ese grounds bail was for­mally re­fused.

The mat­ters are ex­pected to pro­ceed to trial in the Dis­trict Court some time later this year.

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