Driver charged with murder
THERE was a history of animosity between Nashua man James Andrew Mitchell and the 60-year-old cyclist he is accused of running down and killing on Tuesday morning.
Mitchell, 53, has been charged with the murder of John Foss at Mullumbimby on Tuesday and was yesterday refused bail at a hearing in the Lismore Local Court.
Mitchell did not appear in person at the brief hearing and his Legal Aid solicitor, Rita Mula, did not apply for bail on his behalf.
The case was adjourned by consent of the prosecutor and Ms Mula and Mitchell was ordered to appear in the court on January 17.
Mitchell was charged with murder and dangerous driving occasioning death on Wednesday afternoon after being arrested at his Nashua home earlier in the day after a short chase.
Mr Foss, of Ocean Shores, was riding his motorised bicycle on Coolamon Scenic Drive about 10.30am on Tuesday when he was allegedly struck from behind by a white van and suffered serious head injuries.
The driver of the van allegedly fled the scene. Mr Foss was found by a passing surf lifesaver who rendered first aid before paramedics arrived.
He was then taken by ambulance to Mullumbimby Hospital where he died a short time later.
Tweed-Byron Local Area Command duty officer, Inspector Greg Jago, confirmed that the two men knew each other.
"We are aware that both parties knew each other prior to the incident and apparently there was some animosity between them," Insp Jago told reporters.
Following investigations, police went to a property in Nashua on Tuesday where they arrested Mitchell.
Police also also seized a white Toyota HiAce van, which is being examined by forensic officers and the Ballina Crash Investigation Unit.
Mr Foss was riding to Mullumbimby after participating in a rescue of four people from an overturned boat on Brunswick River bar with Marine Rescue NSW, where he was a volunteer, when he was run down.
Police are still investigating the case and ask anyone with information to contact either the Byron Bay police station on 6685 9499 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.