'Lengthy delay' doesn't warrant release
A WOMAN accused of being an accessory to murder has lost her bid for bail in Tweed Heads Local Court.
Robina woman Emma Lesley Thorley, 27, who was charged with accessory to murder after the fact in relation to the death of 31-year-old Ace Hall in Tweed Heads last year, appeared via video link on Wednesday.
Her solicitor, Tom Ivey, said Ms Thorley's ongoing detention was "not justified".
Mr Ivey said there was "significant scope" for his client's charge to be downgraded to concealing a serious indictable offence, which holds a maximum penalty of two years' prison, compared to the maximum of 25 years for her current charge.
If that occurred - and if she is convicted - Ms Thorley may be in custody for longer than the eventual sentence, Mr Ivey argued.
"She's been in custody for three months," he said.
"Even if there is an expedited sentence, it would be a lengthy time prior to her sentence."
He stressed a large delay would occur regardless of whether Ms Thorley pleads guilty or challenges the charge against her.
Mr Hall, who Mr Ivey said was a "well known and infamous standover man", was allegedly dumped outside the Tweed Hospital's emergency department with a gunshot wound to the stomach on June 24 last year.
Ms Thorley's boyfriend, Kingscliff man Phillip Raymond Becker, 33, was charged with murder after the incident. He is due to face Lismore court again next month.
Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Lehmann said a custodial sentence would be likely if Ms Thorley was convicted and acknowledged Mr Ivey's concerns.
"If the matter is defended it's unlikely to get a trial date before 2019," she said.
But she argued against bail on the basis of the "strength of the Crown case".
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy noted there would be a "significant delay in finalisation" of the case.
"This is a complex case which could take a considerable time to finish," he said.
However, Mr Dunlevy said the criteria for bail being granted were not met. Ms Thorley will face Tweed Heads Local Court via video link next month.