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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Killer’s plea to return to hospital denied

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The Toad, the Whale and the Sun

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Foodie fest on the table

Food and culture takes centre stage this week, as Caper Byron Bay Food & Culture Festival returns May 17 to 26.

Escaped killer Trent Jennings will not be able to resume life at a psychiatric hospital as if nothing had happened after his plea to do so was refused by a north coast magistrate.

At Lismore Local Court yesterday, Mr Jennings’s legal aid solicitor requested that he be given a psychiatric assessment and returned to Morisset psychiatric hospital.

But the request was denied by magistrate Mark Bromhead, who ordered him to stand trial at Sydney Central Local Court next Wednesday.

Mr Bromhead told the court, ‘The only way the gentleman could have returned to the institution (was if he) had not committed more offences’.

Bail was not applied for and was formally denied.

Last Thursday, while on day leave, Jennings tied up a man he met on the internet at his home and stole valuables including his car. He returned late from day leave to hospital after the incident but despite this he was allowed out again the following day, during which he absconded with the car.

Police stopped him at Warrell Creek on Friday night and issued him with infringement notices but, as the matter had yet to be reported, he was allowed to drive on.

He was finally captured asleep at the wheel of the stolen Mercedes in Byron Bay on Wednesday.

Many unanswered questions still surround the case, such as how Mr Jennings came to be in possession of his passport and driver licence despite having been institutionalised for a number of years.


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