Man's fake bail address turns out to be banana plantation
One man in a group accused of break and enter has been convicted in his absence after he failed to appear in court.
Defence lawyer Paul Cranney told the court his client Aaron Grachan, 32, from Tregear, could not be located when he was due to face Byron Bay Local Court on Monday along with co-accused Nicholas Kevin Varela, 39, from Hornsby.
The pair are charged with break and enter dwelling house with intent to steal, entering enclosed lands without a lawful excuse and aggravated break and enter in company with intent to steal.
Julia Fernandez-Milner and David Keown are also listed as co-accused in court documents.
According to court documents, police will allege the group broke into a section of a Byron Bay home on the afternoon of November 1 this year.
Mr Cranney told the court a field officer had attended the address where Mr Grachan was required to reside under his bail conditions.
"That area is a banana plantation," Mr Cranney said.
He said the property "doesn't appear to be marked" with a residential dwelling.
"The field officer tried to raise a number of people, wasn't able to," Mr Cranney said.
Magistrate Karen Stafford issues a warrant for Mr Grachan's arrest.
"On the basis the bail undertaking has not been kept and it appears the bail address may not be a genuine one because it appears to be a banana planation … I will deal with matter ex parte," Ms Stafford said.
Mr Cranney sought leave to withdraw from the matter and Ms Stafford found the first two allegations proved on the details before the court.
The third charge had only been freshly laid so he was not convicted of this.
Mr Varela's matter is meanwhile due to return to court on May 19 next year.
His lawyer, Kate Brady, lodged a not guilty plea on his behalf to the third charge before the court.
The remainder of the brief of evidence in his case is due to be filed by May 15.