'He's called me a pedophile defender'
TWO Northern Rivers men applying for apprehended violence orders against each other have appeared in court.
Andrew Stephen Benn and Big Rob are each seeking AVOs against the other.
Little about the circumstances surrounding the applications were mentioned in court, but Mr Benn referred to comments Mr Rob had allegedly posted on social media.
"He's called me a pedophile defender," Mr Benn said.
"I'd like to know who the pedophile is that I'm defending.
"I bash the motherf*****s."
Mr Benn's application was listed for a hearing on Friday, but with defendants in custody waiting to go before the court, they ran out of time.
The parties spent a significant amount of time debating when and where the applications should be dealt with.
This was after Mr Rob's solicitor Vince Boss lodged an application for Magistrate Michael Dakin to disqualify himself from presiding over the matter on grounds of a perceived conflict of interest.
Mr Dakin asked him on what grounds he was making that application.
"I don't know him," Mr Dakin said.
"I've never met him, as far as I recall."
Mr Rob was called to the witness stand, and said a relative of Mr Dakin had threatened to have him "locked up" after he took photos of their house.
The court also heard Mr Rob felt Mr Dakin was once "angry with him" during an appearance in Byron Bay Local Court.
Mr Dakin, a visiting magistrate from another region, previously sat on that circuit, but has not done so since early this year.
Mr Dakin said he couldn't recall this, and found no grounds for the application to be upheld.
Mr Benn said he was frustrated by the situation, but urged Mr Dakin to list the two AVO applications separately.
"He said... he's happy to drop his if I drop mine," Mr Benn said.
"I just said f**k that."
Mr Benn insisted his application be heard first.
"I'd like them to be heard separately," Mr Benn said.
"You can't hear both of them together."
Visiting magistrate Michael Dakin said he would have to hear the matter in full on the day.
Alternatively, Mr Dakin said he could preside over the remainder of the case via video link on another day.
Neither party was overly receptive to this, and Mr Dakin expressed the urgency of some agreement so he could deal with another defendant, waiting in custody.
"It's not elective surgery," Mr Dakin said.
The court heard Mr Rob required a magistrate other than those who usually sit at Lismore Local Court due to conflicts of interest.
Mr Boss said a Byron Bay appearance would be preferred, but Mr Benn objected.
"He committed the offence in Lismore, I made the complaint in Lismore, it stays in Lismore," Mr Benn said.
Both AVO applications will be mentioned again before Lismore Local Court on Monday.