AN Oaklands man accused of shooting a woman in the neck narrowly avoided being committed to stand trial yesterday in his absence.
Corey Dean Beagley failed to turn up on time for a listed committal hearing over the 2011 shooting.
When Beagley didn’t appear for the 9.30am call-over of cases in Albury Local Court, magistrate Tony Murray put the matter back to 10am.
If he didn’t show by then, Beagley, 33, faced being committed to stand trial in the District Court.
But by the time another case was completed, closer to 10.30am, Beagley had arrived.
Mr Murray asked Beagley why he was late to court.
“I had to take my son to school,” he said.
Helen Preedy, then 61, was shot in the neck as she took an evening stroll in Kilpatrick Street, Oaklands, on December 28, 2011.
She was rushed to Corowa hospital then transferred to Albury hospital, where she spent 13 days in intensive care.
Yesterday’s committal on charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, using an unauthorised prohibited firearm and firing a .22 rifle with a silencer in a manner likely to injure someone didn’t end up going ahead.
That came after a last-minute decision by Beagley to notify the court of his intention to call 18 committal witnesses, including three expert witnesses and two doctors.
Mr Murray asked Beagley why he was only now making such an application, given the case had already been before the court several times.
“I wasn’t aware of the timeframe that it had to be in by,” Beagley said.
In an appearance back on May 21, Mr Murray told an unrepresented Beagley he needed to act quickly if he wanted to appoint a solicitor.
Beagley said he was “on my way to Albury to do that”.
But yesterday he was once again unrepresented.
“I just can’t afford a lawyer at the moment,” he said, pointing out that he did not qualify for legal aid because he had a job.
Mr Murray said he was willing to accept Beagley’s witnesses application as it was clear he did not fully understand his legal rights.
But he warned Beagley he had to prepare a submission supporting the reasons why each and every witness needed to be called.
He was not allowed to simply call witnesses at will.
Mr Murray gave Beagley until September 12 to prepared and file his application, with the case listed again for September 15.
Mr Murray was told in 2012 that a rifle with silencer and four boxes of ammunition were found in a roof cavity at Beagley’s home, about 100 metres from where the victim was shot.