Generic photograph of a burglar thief breaking into a house through an unlocked window. burglary theft larceny. PIRATE: 28/02/2001.
Generic photograph of a burglar thief breaking into a house through an unlocked window. burglary theft larceny. PIRATE: 28/02/2001.

Break-and-enter trial for trio hits a COVID-19 snag

SOCIAL distancing requirements could force a triple-headed trial to relocate in order to keep all parties allegedly involved in a home invasion in The Channon safe.

Thomas O'Brien, Hillel Pulley and Chris Michael O'Brien are expected to face trial on August 10 for the charges against them, including the aggravated entering of a dwelling with intent and reckless wounding in company.

Police will allege the trio broke into a home on Nimbin St, The Channon, on November 12, 2018 and assaulted the occupant with a metallic sharp-edged builder's spacer. They have pleaded not guilty

All three men previously pleaded not guilty to all charges.

However, Lismore District Court heard last month there could be some issues regarding logistics and how the size of the courtroom could accommodate the accused, the alleged victim and legal representatives.

"We are pushing the outer limits of what might be considered practical from a safety point of view," Judge Jeffrey McLennan said.

"This facility, courtroom two, can't actually accommodate a triple-headed trial."

The court also heard the alleged victim, who lives in Geelong, couldn't come to court because he would be required to self isolate for 14 days and therefore would miss the trial.

Judge McLennan said he might allow the victim to access remote a secure audio-visual link in order to give evidence during the trial.

The matter was listed again for mention in Lismore District Court for August 6 to confirm whether appropriate arrangements had been made ahead of the set trial.


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