A Nimbin man facing 18 serious historic child sex charges who kept a photo of his alleged victim at his home has been granted strict conditional bail.
David Huggett appeared in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday via videolink from jail.
He was represented by barrister Megan Cusack who applied for bail on his behalf.
The 74 year-old is charged with three counts of carnal knowledge of a girl under 10, seven counts of assaulting a female less than 16 years old and commit an act of indecency, four counts of committing an act of indecency on a female under 16 years old, possessing a prohibited drug, possessing child abuse material and two counts of sexual assault (category 4) assault and act of indecency of a person less than 16 years old.
All of the alleged offences relate to the same victim and occurred in the late 1970s.
Ms Cusack argued Mr Huggett should be granted conditional bail, as the serious charges of carnal knowledge would be proven incorrect.
‘When you look at the allegations, it is not carnal knowledge,’ she said.
‘Carnal knowledge requires penetration by the penis.’
She told Magistrate Peter Bugden a jail sentence wasn’t an inevitable outcome for Mr Huggett.
Mr Huggett had no previous criminal convictions, Ms Cusack said, he had lived in the area for a number of years and owns a house at Nimbin.
If granted conditional bail, Ms Cusack said Mr Huggett was prepared to reside in Ballina and not go within 23km of Nimbin, hand in his passport and report to Ballina police.
Ms Cusack said he also would agree to deposit $5000 cash and give a $10000 surety if granted bail.
But prosecutor Kate Biffin opposed bail, stating Mr Huggett had limited community ties, had moved around Australia previously and made admissions to police about the charges during a recorded interview.
She said Mr Huggett was born in the United Kingdom and had the money and the means to leave Australia.
The court heard a photo of the victim was seized from Mr Huggett’s residence and he had promised retribution against the girl, saying ‘when I do my wack I will come and get her’.
Ms Biffin said he faced a very strong prosecution case and extremely serious charges.
In reply, Ms Cusack said the claims Mr Huggett would go after the girl sounded false.
As he had never spent time in custody, Ms Cusack argued Mr Huggett wouldn’t use that type of language.
‘That’s not something Mr Huggett would say,’ she said.
Ms Cusack said the process of Mr Huggett’s matters would take some time to progress through the courts, and he would remain in custody over that period unless granted bail.
After considering both arguments over the lunch adjournment, Mr Bugden granted Mr Huggett strict conditional bail to reside at Ballina and report to Ballina police daily.
Upon his release, Mr Huggett had to pay $5000 surety, surrender his passport, agree to adhere to a daily 7pm to 7am curfew and agree not to go to Nimbin except in the presence of a police officer.
His matters were adjourned until July 4 at Lismore Local Court.