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May 16, 2021

Byron developer pleads not guilty to menacing driving

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Byron Bay developer Bart Elias is facing charges stemming from an incident with his wife.
Byron Bay developer Bart Elias is facing charges stemming from an incident with his wife.

A Byron Bay developer has pleaded not guilty to a charge of menacing driving stemming from an alleged incident earlier this year involving his wife.

Bart Elias appeared in Ballina Local Court on Thursday and was represented by solicitor Michael Demestre.

The court had previously heard police were in the process of laying charges against Mr Elias.

Court documents revealed Mr Elias was charged with knowingly driving a vehicle in a manner to menace another and negligent driving (no death or grievous bodily harm).

Under the Road Transport Act 2013, if convicted, the maximum penalty for the menacing driving charge is 18 months jail, or a $3300 fine, or both, and the maximum penalty for the negligent driving charge is an $1100 fine.

Mr Demestre said Mr Elias’ AVO matter was adjourned until Thursday to run concurrently with the police charges.

‘We are seeking to enter a plea of not guilty to the charges,’ Mr Demestre said.

‘To both charges,’ Magistrate R Denes asked.

‘Yes, and the AVO,’ Mr Demestre replied.

Anna Karina Elias was granted an interim Apprehended Personal Voilence Order APVO at Ballina Local Court on March 17.

The provisional APVO was made an interim order by Magistrate R Denes, protecting Ms Elias and another person who was not named.

Ms Denes asked police prosecutor Sergeant Alison Kennedy if the was a ‘DVEC’ (Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief).

When Sergeant Kennedy said police had typed statement from witnesses, Ms Denes ordered the statements to be served on the defence as evidence.

Mr Demestre then enquired about the contents of the statements.

‘We spoke to a helpful Constable who said there was some photos and other things,’ he said.

After asking how many witnesses would be required for a hearing, Ms Denes ordered a full brief of evidence to be prepared by police.

Ms Denes ordered the brief to be served on the defence by July 15, and adjourned Mr Elias’ matters until July 27.

On that date, Ms Denes said the defence is required lodge a hearing listing advice with the court, detailing the names and titles of the witnesses that will be required, whether they will be cross-examined, and an estimated time.

Ms Denes said she will confirm the hearing date of August 18 on the next occasion.

The interim APVO between Mr and Mrs Elias remains in place until August 18.


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