Spanner attack accused must self-quarantine

A TRADIE accused of a spanner attack on a man has been granted bail due to the likely long delay in his court proceedings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Ipswich magistrate ordered that Matthew Peter Manson must do 14 days self-quarantine on release from jail, and abide by all government health and travel restrictions pertaining to the virus emergency.

Manson, 37, a concreter from North Booval, is charged with assault causing bodily harm when armed at Rosewood on December 13, 2019.

Crown prosecutor Cameron Wilkins opposed bail in the application made by defence lawyer Yasser Khan.

Mr Khan, who appeared by phone link, said the complainant in the assault matter had contacted his office about trying to withdraw the charge.

The court heard there were phone calls made about withdrawing the charges and that this had not been prompted by Manson.

Mr Wilkins said five calls were recorded (from jail) including March 24 and April 5.

This included a conversation with Manson allegedly saying “If I don’t get charges dropped I’ll be sitting here another year”.

Mr Wilkins said there was “a real risk” of Manson interfering with the complainant.

In another call comment was alleged to have been made by Manson that “a person will regret ever being with her”.

The prosecution were concerned that if released he may commit further offences.

Mr Khan said no threat of violence was made in the calls, with Manson referring to letting them know “about the personality of a person”.

He told magistrate David Shepherd there had been no serious offending by Manson since his release from custody on December 27, 2018 until going back into being custody on December 15, 2019.

“It ties in with programs he’s received and counselling, like Men stopping violence,” Mr Khan said.

However, Mr Shepherd said that this did not appear consistent with Manson “carrying around a spanner in his car that he basically says is there for use against other people”.

“You client, from the allegations, appears willing to wade into an argument between two other people with a spanner. It would seem (from the allegations) to be almost gratuitous use of violence,” he said.

Mr Khan said any defended trial would be 18-months away as there were already significant number of cases waiting to be heard in Ipswich District Court.

He said that if granted bail Manson would have to be isolated for 14 days before being entitled to any form of movement.

Mr Wilkins cited comments made by judges in recent cases concerning the impact of the pandemic on court cases and noted that while delays caused by COVID-19 was relevant it was just another factor to be taken into account.

Mr Shepherd said he noted the allegations involved the use of a spanner to cause injury to the forearm of a person that required six stitches during an argument that apparently involved extended family.

And that the complainant had contacted the legal office who is representing the accused and indicating he wishes to withdraw the charges.

He said Manson was also due for release today after serving jail time on other charges after his parole for those matters had been cancelled.

He noted the backlog of trials that now plague all courts because of the current circumstances.

He found Manson had shown cause that his detention in custody was not justified and it was his view the delay in the resolution of the matter carries some weight.

Bail was granted with Mr Shepherd making the order that Manson not contact any witnesses, that he report to police three times a week, and that he is released into self-quarantine for 14 days to live at North Booval and comply with Queensland public health requirements and the chief medical officer regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Shepherd warned Manson that because it was part of his bail conditions if he failed to comply there would be more consequences other than just a $1300 fine.

His matters were adjourned to May 27.