COVID-19 could interrupt a bail application.
COVID-19 could interrupt a bail application.

Fear of bringing COVID-19 to the west could keep man in jail

A MITCHELL man remanded in custody could have his bail application denied for fears he could bring the coronavirus to the southwest.

The man fronted Roma Magistrates Court via video link today, on several criminal charges.

He requested he be approved for bail, due to his existing medical conditions making him extremely susceptible to COVID-19 and an alleged outbreak of five cases of the virus in the southeast prison he is currently housed.

His lawyer, Laurie Parker, contacted the defendant's family in Mitchell and asked if he could be housed there. The family obliged, however police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting said in the current climate, it could be extremely difficult to carry out the request.

"Not only are we talking about the police resources that would be need to be enacted to ensure the defendant carries out his bail conditions, and Mitchell is not a 24 hour station like Roma," she said.

"We are also talking about bringing a person from the southeast into one of our small communities. We don't have any confirmed cases of the virus out here, but the community would be alarmed by this."

The case has been adjourned for two weeks, and the defendant is expected to enter either a plea of guilty, or make a fresh bail application at that time.

Magistrate Saggers said even if he did apply for bail, there was no guarantee it would be granted.