'Vicious crim' banned from towns

JAMES BROWN did not flinch in his seat in the dock when a Lismore Local Court magistrate described him as 'a vicious criminal' who was a problem for the Nimbin community.

Brown, 24, of Bishops Creek Road, is one of two men charged over the assault in Nimbin village on Boxing Day that left a Sydney tourist with serious head injuries.

Charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in company, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company, Brown was granted bail only after serious consideration by Magistrate Jeff Linden, who imposed strict conditions that effectively ban Brown from entering Nimbin and Lismore.

Mr Linden, who also described Brown as violent, made the comments after looking at a police fact sheet detailing his criminal record.

He said that to allow Brown bail and say he was not to go into Nimbin would just 'move the problem' to some other unfortunate place with Brown likely to come into Lismore.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Steve Gerrish opposed bail, but Brown's solicitor, Ralph James, said a co-offender, who had 'a far more significant role', had been granted police bail.

Mr James said Brown would live with his mother 8km from Nimbin and would not go into the village as 'it appears to be a place where a great deal of his previous (court) matters happened'.

Mr James said if the offences were proved it would be a breach of Brown's existing good behaviour bond.

His client had been co-operative with police and admitted that he had been involved.

Mr Linden granted conditional bail of $5000 cash and ordered Brown not to go within 1km of Nimbin CBD, or within 5km of Lismore CBD, except to visit his legal representative or attend court, and not associate with his co-accused Ryan Hawken. .

In police facts before the court during the bail application, Brown is alleged to have joined Hawken in an unprovoked assault on Sydney man Joshua England in Nimbin's Rainbow Lane. As Mr England lay on the ground Brown is alleged to have kicked his head and upper body 'with such force the victim's head jolted violently each time'.

Brown was also seen jamming his fingers in Mr England's mouth and pulling them out in 'a ripping motion'.

Hawken is accused of striking the tourist in the head with his fist while holding a stubbie of beer. After the stubbie broke on Mr England's head Hawken continued to punch him before squeezing a chain around his neck so tight it broke.

The case was adjourned to March 3.



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