Alleged knife attack goes to trial

TWO MEN accused of threatening a Craignish mother with knives in front of her teenage daughter will stand trial in Hervey Bay District Court.

Rodney “Rocket” Thomas Hills, 41, and Daryl David Hall, 22, appeared in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court from custody yesterday charged with entering the home of a woman and her 16-year-old daughter on Anzac Day of this year.

During two days of committal proceedings, the court was told the men were searching for the woman’s partner who allegedly owed them $300.

It is further alleged the men ransacked the woman’s home and held a knife to her throat, before stealing a mobile phone as they left.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell yesterday ruled there was sufficient evidence to allow the men to stand trial over the incident, at a date yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, charges against a third man, Daniel Steven Roberts, 22, were dropped due to “insufficient evidence”.

Two police officers, Senior Constable Sven Dart and Sergeant Bruce Hodgins, gave evidence at yesterday’s proceedings, where the court heard that no mobile phone or knives matching the description given by mother and daughter were found at either of the defendants’ homes.

The court was told the woman and her partner had attended the Hervey Bay police station nine days after the alleged attack to report it because they feared they would be charged over subsequent damages to the home.

But police said they could find no record of a complaint from the real estate agency in question over the $8000 damages.

Hall’s defence solicitor Trinity McGarvie put forward an application for bail and said there were a number of discrepancies in the evidence provided by couple and the police.

She said this called the entire evidence into question.

Prosecutor Kathryn Stagoll opposed bail, saying Hall had been given “a number of opportunities” but was likely to re-offend.

“Evidence ... is very strong against both defendants,” Sergeant Stagoll said. “Mr Hall is still a very unacceptable risk to be released into the community.”

Mr Tatnell acknowledged the discrepancies in the evidence, before granting Hall, who had already served 41 days in custody, strict conditional bail.

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