The 26-year-old man accused of delivering the fatal blow that killed a Bunbury father during an alleged drunken melee on the city’s main street has been granted bail.
Despite Magistrate Robert Young agreeing the case against Carey Park’s Joshua Ainsley Kelly was “very strong” after viewing closed-circuit TV footage of the incident in which 56-year-old father Danny Talbot sustained head injuries which eventually lead to his death just days later, he said the allegations were not at a level where bail was inappropriate.
Mr Kelly and his brothers, promising football players Gregory Colin Humphries, 20, of Australind, and Jonathon Lee Humphries, 18, of Carey Park, along with another relative, Kirk Angus Boyce, 27, of Armadale, were all arrested following the alleged brawl on Victoria Street in the early hours of May 25.
All four men appeared in Bunbury Magistrates Court via video link from Bunbury Regional Prison on Thursday.
While all four were initially charged with grievous bodily harm, those charges were later upgraded following Mr Talbot’s death.
Mr Boyce, who previously pleaded not guilty to unlawfully assaulting another who died as a direct or indirect result of the assault, and Gregory Humphries, who is facing the same charge along with one of common assault and another of assault occasioning bodily harm, were both remanded in custody after not making bail applications.
Mr Boyce was due to face a bail application next week, but his lawyer Ian Macfarlane withdrew that application during the court appearance on Thursday.
Defence lawyer Ian Hope told the court that he had been granted legal aid for Gregory Humphries and needed to speak to his client in person, seeking an adjournment to August 9.
On considering bail for Mr Kelly – charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and unlawfully assaulting another who died as a direct or indirect result of the assault – police prosecutor Sgt Karl Rep urged Magistrate Young to view the CCTV footage, describing it as showing “four people who absolutely do attack the person who’s now deceased”.
After taking an adjournment to look at the footage, Magistrate Young said it was “fair to say” it revealed a strong case against Mr Kelly and he was “indeed” the person who “delivered the fatal blow”.
Sgt Rep agreed, saying the footage showed it was Mr Kelly’s alleged punch that put Mr Talbot on the ground and that “he (Mr Talbot) did not move after that”.
Sgt Rep conceded that Mr Kelly had a limited criminal record but argued the offending was “so serious” and if convicted, Mr Kelly would serve an immediate jail term.
Lawyer Neville Barber told the court that Mr Kelly had a fly-in, fly-out job lined up upon his release – a submission that was questioned by both Magistrate Young and Sgt Rep on how he was able to gain employment while behind bars.
Mr Barber responded that Mr Kelly’s family had made inquiries on his behalf.
Sgt Rep again questioned the submission saying he had looked up the ABN of the business and it was registered to a man with the surname Kelly, causing him concerns over its credibility.
Magistrate Young said while the case was strong, there was nothing to suggest Mr Kelly would re-offend or interfere with witnesses if released on bail.
After granting Mr Kelly’s bail, Magistrate Young also released Jonathon Humphries saying that while his criminal record was “worse” he was prepared to consider it.
Jonathon Humphries is facing assault occasioning bodily harm and unlawfully assaulting another who died as a direct or indirect result of the assault.
Both men were released on $5000 bail with similar sureties and conditions to live in Carey Park, report to Bunbury Police Station daily, not attend licensed premises or consume alcohol and submit to breath tests.
Mr Kelly will also have to provide a copy of his flight details and work roster to police if working away.
After initially suggesting a 7pm to 6am curfew, lawyers for both men successfully argued that both wanted to continue training with local South West Football League club, the Eaton Boomers.
Magistrate Young said he was “happy” for the men to engage in “youthful activities” such as sport and extended the curfew to 9pm.
Both men’s charges were put off to committal mention dates on September 12 alongside Mr Boyce.