'Complete breakdown' of police process: Magistrate
A MAGISTRATE has slammed an "utter and complete breakdown” of proper process after police failed to prepare evidence in a domestic violence case.
Goonellabah man Jake Neil Walker, 31, denies police allegations he assaulted his partner on the night of November 4 last year.
Police claim the assault went on for up to three hours and involved squeezing and biting of the woman's arm, leaving the woman badly bruised.
Walker is alleged to have told her that if she went to police, "I'll get out in three to six months and then you'd better move town, otherwise I'll go to jail for a good reason”.
Walker is charged with one count of stalking and intimidation and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He has pleaded not guilty.
In Lismore Local Court on May 2 the matter was due for hearing, but police prosecutor Monique Batterson was forced to inform Magistrate David Heilpern there was no brief of evidence, nor was the officer-in-charge present.
Ms Batterson requested an adjournment.
Magistrate Heilpern was scathing, declaring the situation represented a "complete and utter non-compliance with the Criminal Procedure Act”.
But said the alleged victim was "entitled to have the system work in her favour”, and agreed to adjourn the matter.
The matter was mentioned again in Lismore Local Court yesterday, when it was again adjourned, with a new hearing date set for July 2.