Attack accused gets bail pending trial

A MAN facing charges over a violent attack on another man earlier this year has been released on bail ahead of his County Court trial.

Ricky Jeffrey Long, 36, was yesterday committed to stand trial when he appeared in the Mildura Magistrates’ Court and bailed to live at a Red Cliffs address after seven months on remand.

Long pleaded guilty to recklessly causing injury and making a threat to kill but entered pleas of not guilty to charges of intentionally causing injury and common assault.

The prosecution opposed Long’s bid for bail, arguing there was a risk he would seek retribution against the victim or attempt to ­interfere with prosecution witnesses.

Charges against a male co-accused were withdrawn in the Mildura Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and that man is to give evidence against Long at the trial.

Police informant Senior Constable Daniela Albanese said the victim became “extremely upset and anxious” when he learnt his attacker could be released from custody.

The victim had given evidence during Long’s committal hearing, telling the court he ran to a neighbouring unit and then to a nearby corner store after Long attacked him at his home on March 7.

During the bail application, prosecutor Vivianne Morkos said Long had a threatening and aggressive tone in a recorded interview with police and had threatened to return to the victim’s house to “bash” him properly.

Long had also suggested he could have shot the victim with a crossbow if he wanted to cause him greater harm.

The court heard Long had the crossbow in his ute on the day of the attack.

However, defence barrister Andrew Dickenson said Long was “hot under the collar” during the police interview and suggested his comment about the crossbow suggested he only intended limited violence.

Mr Dickenson said Long had a “very limited criminal history” and no adverse bail history, strong family support and had used his time in custody to detox from drug use and think about his behaviour.

Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge granted bail but imposed strict conditions on Long, including a curfew, a requirement to report to police three times weekly and a ban on drinking alcohol.

Long has also been barred from contacting the co-accused-turned witness while a three-year intervention order was imposed between Long and the victim.

Long is due to appear in the County Court next month for a directions hearing.

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