Bail for pub sex as­sault ac­cused

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - BREN­DEN HILLS

A MAN ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a woman as she stepped out of a Syd­ney pub is a refugee liv­ing in Australia on a bridg­ing visa.

And this con­trib­uted to Sayer Alenezi, 38, be­ing granted bail in Par­ra­matta Bail Court on Satur­day.

Act­ing Magistrate John Bai­ley told the court Alenezi’s trou­ble speak­ing English “would make it dif­fi­cult” for him in cus­tody “to pre­pare a de­fence to his case”.

In con­sid­er­ing whether to re­lease Alenezi, Magistrate Bai­ley said the case against him was not “weak” but “cer­tainly could be a lot stronger”.

Alenezi, of Yen­nora in Syd­ney’s west, is ac­cused of the ag­gra­vated sex­ual as­sault of an in­tox­i­cated 22-year-old woman af­ter she stum­bled out of the Court­house Ho­tel on Ox­ford St, Surry Hills, at 1.30am on Oc­to­ber 27.

Po­lice al­lege Alenezi tar­geted the woman be­cause she was drunk and sep­a­rated from her friends. He al­legedly linked arms with the woman be­fore walk­ing her al­most 1km to Turner Lane in Wool­loomooloo, where he is ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her be­tween 2.30am and 3.30am.

The woman told a friend about the al­leged at­tack be­fore go­ing to Suther­land Hos­pi­tal.

Alenezi was charged with two counts of ag­gra­vated sex­ual as­sault and in­flict­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm on Fri­day.

Po­lice op­posed bail be­ing granted, with the pros­e­cu­tor telling the court Alenezi ran­domly tar­geted the woman be­cause she was in­tox­i­cated, claim­ing this meant he was ca­pa­ble of fur­ther at­tacks.

“The vic­tim was not known to the ac­cused. That con­trib­utes to risk of en­dan­ger­ing the com­mu­nity,” the pros­e­cu­tor told the court.

The pros­e­cu­tor told the court there was ex­ten­sive CCTV footage of Alenezi’s move­ments at the time of the al­leged in­ci­dent, DNA ev­i­dence and par­tial ad­mis­sions made in his ar­rest in­ter­view.

Po­lice are now con­sid­er­ing fur­ther charges once med­i­cal ev­i­dence had been an­a­lysed.

Alenezi’s Le­gal Aid lawyer told the court there were prob­lems with the crown case and that con­sent would be an is­sue.

“There were no at­tempts made to stop the ac­cused,” the lawyer told the court. The lawyer ar­gued Alenezi’s mat­ter would take a long time to get to trial and com­bined with his “min­i­mal English skills” this added up to hard­ship that sup­ported his case for bail.

The court heard Alenezi was a refugee who ar­rived in Australia on a bridg­ing visa.

Magistrate Bai­ley or­dered Alenezi to re­port to Fair­field Po­lice Sta­tion daily, abide by an 8pm to 8am cur­few, and not go within 5km of the CBD.

The court heard Alenezi had un­known health con­di­tions, was not em­ployed and was re­ceiv­ing Cen­tre­link ben­e­fits. He was or­dered to ap­pear at the Down­ing Cen­tre Lo­cal Court on Jan­uary 15.

CCTV footage of Alenezi.

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