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May 15, 2021

Man who allegedly tried to lure young woman refused bail

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A man who denies he tried to lure a 15-year-old girl into his ute on Sunday at Lismore was on bail over an alleged aggravated assault with intent to rob charge.

Rodney Mulvena appeared in Lismore Local Court on Monday afternoon, facing charges of stalking and intimidation intending fear or physical harm, and breaching bail.

About 7.40 am on Sunday, a 15-year-old girl was walking along Uralba Street when she was allegedly approached by 47-year-old Mr Mulvena in a Holden ute, who engaged in conversation with her before asking her to get in the car.

When the girl made a phone call, it is alleged Mr Mulvena drove off, and she reported the matter to police.

Richmond Local Area Command police launched an investigation and following enquiries, Mr Mulvena was arrested at Caniaba Road, about 3pm, and taken to Lismore police station where he was charged and refused bail.

On Monday afternoon Magistrate R Denes heard Mr Mulvena refused to see a mental health nurse he had been referred to.

Prosecutor Sergeant Brett Gradisnik revealed Mr Mulvena was on bail for an alleged aggravated assault with intent to rob charge.

‘The matters he is on bail for are with the Directors Office (Director of Public Prosecutions),’ Sgt Gradisnik said.

‘They’re only allegations,’ Mr Mulvena said from the dock.

‘Given what he is on bail for…the allegations are very serious,’ Ms Denes said.

Under recently revised bail laws, Mr Mulvena’s solicitor Tom Trembath must satisfy the court why his detention is not justified (a Show Cause offence).

Mr Trembath said while Mr Mulvena had a reasonably lengthy criminal record, ‘the penalties are not of a high order’.

Previous sentences imposed by the court, Mr Trembath said, were under section 32 and 33 of the Mental Heath (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990, section 10 (guilty without a conviction recorded) and good behaviour bonds.

He said the most serious matter Mr Mulvena, who is on a disability support pension record, had faced were the allegations before the court.

‘He says he was just driving around the town in the normal course of his business and denies any inappropriate behaviour toward that woman,’ Mr Trembath said.

Sergeant Gradisnik said Mr Trembath had not shown why Mr Mulvena’s detention wasn’t justified for an offence he classed as ‘mid-range in terms of seriousness’.

A detailed report had been received by police about the matter, which Sgt Gradisnik said he had referred to the DPP for consideration.

‘The are many vehicles with similar appearance to my vehicle, ‘ Mr Mulvena said.

‘These fresh allegations are particularly serious,’ Magistrate Denes said.

‘I have concerns for his mental health.’

He has not shown cause why his detention isn’t justified, Ms Denes said.

‘There are no conditions I can put in place that would mitigate the risk to the public.’

Ms Denes ordered a justice heath report to be prepared on Mr Mulvena and adjourned his matters until October 3.

He is listed to appear via videolink at his next appearance.

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