Man accused of striking baby

A MAN accused of striking a baby has been granted bail in the Lismore Local Court provided he stays at an address more than 1000km away.

David John Byers, 39, and formerly of New Park, near Kyogle, was yesterday released into the custody of his partner, Donna Goulding, who lives in the small coastal village of Narooma, south-east of Canberra.

The court heard it would take the couple two days to get back to the village by bus.

That two-day journey will have to be repeated each time Byers’ case is mentioned at the court, after Byers’ lawyer asked that the matter remain in Lismore, instead of being transferred to the closer Batemans Bay Local Court.

Defence lawyer Ben Cochrane told the court his client suffered mental health problems and had been developing a promising career in Sydney, where he worked on the ABC’s Message Stick program before running off the rails and landing in his present strife.

Keeping the case at Lismore would give Byers continuity in access to his legal service and to a court mental health officer, not available at Batemans Bay, Mr Cochrane said.

Byers faces two charges of assault, one of maliciously destroying or damaging property, one of driving while disqualified, and two of failing to appear at court.

Byers is accused of forcing his way into a Casino home while he was drunk and abusing the mother of three children there.

Documents before the court say that when he stormed into another room of the house he was followed by a one-year-old baby. He is accused of turning around and striking the baby to the side of the head. The mother gathered up the children and left the house.

Byers is then accused of punching a man at the house in the face before leaving. The residents called police after Byers left, but officers were unable to find him.

The officers organised an apprehended violence order for the family, but the next day Byers came back anyway smashing three windows.

Police were called again, and this time found Byers at a nearby house.

He is pleading not guilty to the charges.

Byers will make the two-day trip back to Lismore next month for his next court appearance, scheduled for Monday, July 5.

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