Magistrate refuses bail after gun evidence 'coerced'
A MAN will remain in custody after explosive claims an unknown person had been coerced into supplying a key piece of evidence.
Brett Ian Turner stood accused of being in possession of a loaded sawn-off shotgun, a knife, three shotgun rounds and a black balaclava, after police stopped him for a routine check at Pialba about 4.30am on May 7.
Mr Turner applied for a bail application last Wednesday, but when an acquaintance failed to provide an affidavit claiming the weapons were not Mr Turner's, his application was adjourned.
The affidavit was submitted before Mr Turner appeared in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday to continue his bail application.
However, the court heard the person who signed the affidavit had been coerced into doing so.
Defence lawyer Andrew Bale addressed the court via phone from his Brisbane office.
He said the new material provided to him by police prevented him from adding to Mr Turner's bail application.
"I got the additional material Your Honour, which really short-circuits anything I can say further on the application of bail," Mr Bale said.
"It would appear as though the issues in relation to whose property was in the back seat of the vehicle is very much a live one.
"Unfortunately, I haven't had an opportunity to speak with Mr Turner this morning, but I understand he wants to say something about the statement.
"But it would be my advice to Mr Turner that he might want to consider his position and perhaps not pursue it."
Magistrate Stephen Guttridge told the court that a sworn statement may have supported Mr Turner's release.
He said because the evidence was supplied through coercion and because no cause was shown by Mr Turner's defence lawyer Andrew Bale, he would be held on remand at Maryborough Correctional Centre until June 20.
"An affidavit was forthcoming in those terms but the person appears to have said they were coerced and the affidavit was not true," Mr Guttridge said.