Brothers fail to clean up assault
HELEN Walsh and Benjamin Atkins embraced each other outside Lismore District Court yesterday after pleading not guilty to detaining and assaulting a Byron Bay man then dumping him on the street.
Police allege that on July 2 last year, Atkins and Walsh drove with Nathan Miller to an address in Byron Bay, where they were joined by co-accused Angus Macdonald.
Macdonald and Atkins, who are brothers, then allegedly detained Miller in a bedroom of the house where he was “savagely assaulted” over a number of hours.
At one stage, Atkins allegedly held a knife to the face of the victim and threatened to cut his eyes out.
Walsh is accused of watching over the attack and verbally inciting the brothers to assault Miller.
The brothers are accused of forcing Miller to take a shower and telling him they were going to kill him and remove the DNA evidence with bleach.
Miller alleged he was driven to Suffolk Park where he was pushed out of a car.
The violent ordeal left Miller in the intensive care unit at Gold Coast Hospital, Southport.
Macdonald, who remains in custody, hugged his brother Atkins in the dock of the courtroom yesterday.
Macdonald and Atkins pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and detaining Miller with the intent to take advantage of him and occasion actual bodily harm. Walsh pleaded not guilty to charges relating to aiding her co-accused.
Police facts state Atkins believed Miller was a rapist and had taken a car from his friend without paying for it.
Atkins alleged Miller pulled a knife on him and that he punched Miller in the face to “defend himself” and took the victim to have a shower in order to clean him up.
Miller tried to make a getaway and jumped naked from the bathroom window, sustaining a broken ankle, Atkins alleges.
A trial has been set down for September 19.