Weapons used in brutal assault near primary school

WEAPONS including a knuckle-duster and a telescopic bat were allegedly used in a pre-planned home invasion and bashing which shattered the serenity of a usually peaceful street opposite The Channon Public School on Monday afternoon.

Nimbin man Chris Michael O'Brien, 49, was refused bail in Lismore Local Court on Wednesday over the assault which left a man with a broken nose, multiple stitches to his face including his eyelid, and a heavily bruised back and shoulders.

O'Brien was one of three men who allegedly turned up to the Nimbin St home about 4.45pm on Monday demanding that the occupant come out, before entering the dwelling.

The alleged assault started on the property but loudly spilled out into the street and the three men were seen by several passers-by, including the school principal, before they fled.

O'Brien is charged with special aggravated enter dwelling with intent, and reckless wounding in company.

Court papers state O'Brien snr was allegedly armed with a "metallic sharp edged builder's spacer" and "maliciously inflicted actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm" on the victim.

His 19-year-old son Thomas O'Brien has also been charged but was granted bail and will face court later this month.

Sporting long thin hair bound in a pony tail, O'Brien snr watched from behind the glass dock as his solicitor Rod Behan made an application for bail on Wednesday afternoon.

The court heard he was already on a suspended jail sentence for dealing in the proceeds of crime and good behaviour bonds for intimidation, driving while disqualified, and drug offences.

"His primary concerns is that he's... a carer for his 15 year old daughter, his daughter has a degenerative lung disease... and requires regular medical appointments," Mr Behan said.

He said O'Brien would reside at Nimbin and would not go within 10km of The Channon while on bail.

But police prosecutor Chris Ferreira vigorously opposed bail, saying the risk of O'Brien failing to appear would be the "least" of the court's concerns given the gravity of the charges.

"We have forensic evidence, we have eye witness accounts... which paint a picture of a home invasion with weapons... (there was) a high degree of planning an attempt to draw out the victim from his home initially... which was unsuccessful," Mr Ferreira said.

Mr Ferreira said O'Brien's son had allegedly uttered the words "just give me the word" and O'Brien said "go do it" before they invaded the man's dwelling.

He said there was an "extremely high" degree of violence with the assaults continuing outside on the street. Weapons involved included a "telescopic bat" and a "knuckle duster".

"We have an unrepentant man, a brutal assault committed in company, in a small rural town," Mr Ferreira said.

"It's highly unlikely he will serve anything but a full-time custodial sentence."

Magistrate Jeff Linden said O'Brien had an "unenviable" recent record including a suspended jail sentence of dealing with proceeds of crime.

He said there was an "unacceptable risk" of O'Brien interfering with witnesses among other concerns.

Bail was refused, with the matter to return to Lismore Local Court on January 21 and O'Brien to appear via video link.

Thomas O'Brien will face Lismore Local Court on November 26.



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