Evans man refused bail on hotel riot

AN EVANS HEAD man accused of being one of the main instigators of a riot at the opening of the Bonalbo Dog and Bull Hotel was yesterday refused bail.

Kenneth Cecil Eric Avery, 20, appeared in Lismore Local Court to apply for bail after he was allegedly involved in the fracas that erupted at the hotel on its opening night on Friday, August 19.

Avery faces one charge of assaulting an officer and being involved in a riot.

Police prosecutor Garry Ducasse said the alleged offences were highly volatile.

"The prosecution has a strong case and imprisonment would be likely for the accused," Mr Ducasse told the court.

"This would weigh heavily on his mind.

"Police were assaulted and outnumbered.

"It was a very dangerous situation for police and the community."

Mr Ducasse told the court Avery had failed to appear in court on three previous occasions in the past and had breached his bail conditions every time.

However, Avery's legal counsel, Rebecca Simpson, argued he should be released.

Ms Simpson said Avery was not the only person involved and that two other people charged over the incident had already been granted bail.

"If granted bail my client has instructed me he can live in South Evans Head with his partner and would not enter Bonalbo except for medical appointments which he may need to attend," she said.

However, Magistrate Nick Reimer said the allegations that had been made against Avery were more 'horrific' than those against his two co-accused.

"His record is one of extreme violence and there was serious assault on police," Mr Reimer said.

Mr Reimer refused bail and ordered Avery to reappear via videolink in Lismore Local Court on September 26.

n Police at the time said several police cars and 15 police from Bonalbo, Tabulam, Casino and Woodenbong had responded to the pub's 000 call around 9.30pm.

Punches were thrown, chairs hurled, nine windows smashed, the front doors were demolished and a light fitting was torn off.

Two police officers were injured in the brawl which involved more than 20 people, six of whom were arrested.

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