Lee Funnell.
Lee Funnell.

Three on trial for Byron assaults

THREE Northern Rivers men charged over serious assaults on two men outside a hotel in Byron Bay will stand trial in the Lismore District Court on May 31.

Nicholas Stafford Sharp, 27, of Ocean Shores, and Lee Frederick Funnell, 26, of Brunswick Heads, appeared in Lismore District Court on Monday before Judge James Black, when the trial date was agreed to by their legal representatives and the Crown.

The three men – Sharp, Funnell and Dean William Phelps, 25, of Suffolk Park – have all pleaded not guilty.

It is alleged they inflicted grievous bodily harm on Dallas Arnold, 31, of Pottsville, at Byron Bay on March 7 last year, and that they threatened to use unlawful violence towards other persons to cause fear.

Funnell and Phelps are also pleading not guilty to a third charge that they, in company, assaulted Nathan Spratt, 31, causing him bodily harm.

Sharp and Funnell left the Lismore Courthouse separately following the brief mention of their matters. Phelps did not have to attend, but had legal representation.

Lawyer Amy Barker revealed that Sharp, who is on $100,000 bail guaranteed by his father, had applied for legal aid to cover the cost of his defence team.

The Crown said the trial was expected to run for at least 10 days.

Ms Barker told the court that with 21 civilian witnesses the matter was more likely to take three weeks with some witnesses coming from overseas.

The matter will be mentioned in March to confirm the date of the trial.



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