The Liberty petrol station on Ballina Rd, Lismore.
The Liberty petrol station on Ballina Rd, Lismore.

Man accused of Lismore servo robbery wants bail for rehab

A man charged in relation to an alleged armed robbery at a Lismore service station has been denied bail after he failed to get admitted into rehab.

Kieren George Cotton, 27, was arrested at gunpoint in Brewster St in October after the alleged robbery at the Liberty service station on Ballina Rd.

Police will allege they were called to the service station about 2.50am on October 17 after reports of a robbery.

Mr Cotton allegedly entered the store, produced a firearm, threatened staff, and demanded a 19-year-old employee give him cash.

He then allegedly left the store with “significant amount of money” and was later arrested while trying to enter a taxi.

Police allege they arrested Mr Cotton after he fitted the description of the offender, and found a large amount of money in the alleged offender’s underwear, according to court documents.

Mr Cotton was charged with robbery while armed with a dangerous weapon and robbery while armed with an offensive weapon.

Mr Cotton appeared before Lismore Local Court via video link from custody in Clarence Correctional Facility on Tuesday to apply for bail.

The court heard the weapon used in the alleged robbery was a gel blaster.

Mr Cotton’s defence solicitor Rachel Thomas said her client had a history of schizophrenia and a limited criminal history.

The court heard he’d been admitted into the Lismore Base Hospital for mental health treatment about a week prior to the alleged incident and had failed to continue taking his prescribed medication.

Ms Thomas said Mr Cotton had tried to apply to attend a rehabilitation facility however none were available at this time.

The NSW Police Prosecutor opposed the bail application and he said was most concerned with the level of agitation used during the offending.

“While the weapon turned out to be a gel blaster, the victims did not know that,” he said.

Magistrate Jeff Linden opposed the bail application and adjourned the matter to January 13 for further mention.

“While it’s anticipated he wanted to go to rehabilitation, there’s nothing before this court that rehabilitation is available,’ Mr Linden said.

“I would have had a different view if rehabilitation was available.”

Mr Cotton is also facing separate charges for causing malicious damage, and those matters have also been adjourned to January 13 to be heard in the Lismore Local Court.

Defence solicitor Natasha Wood lodged no pleas on his behalf and did not apply for bail.

“There is no release application today,” Ms Wood said.

“Mr Cotton has an application for Transformations rehabilitation that’s already been submitted.”

The court heard her client would likely apply for bail upon being accepted to rehab.

Ms Wood asked the court to note her client was at risk of self-harm, and stressed he had not had access to medication for a mental health condition since he was arrested.

A brief of evidence is expected to be filed by December 14 and Mr Cotton is due to return to court two days later.

The court heard Mr Cotton had been on bail in relation to separate charges at the time of the alleged robbery and this was formally revoked.

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