A former Albury chiropractor who fled Australia rather than face accusations he fondled the breasts of two patients has failed in a bid for freedom.
Lawrence Alchin will remain behind bars until he is due to appear again in Albury Local Court in late September on six counts of indecent assault.
The 78-year-old was arrested several days ago in Bendigo when Albury detectives became aware that Alchin was living with relatives.
He was supposed to front a two-day contested hearing in October of 2009 but did not show.
Soon after, then magistrate Gordon Lerve commented that it seemed Alchin, who once lived at Woomargama, had no intention of answering the charges given he had failed to appear in Albury court on 16 separate occasions.
Defence solicitor Graham Lamond told magistrate Tony Murray on Monday that Alchin’s wife, who along with his son attended court in support, had said the defendant went overseas in 2008.
That, he said, was the reason why he did not answer the charges in court in 2009 – he did not know of the proceedings. But Mr Murray said records clearly showed that Alchin attended court at least twice in 2009.
Mr Lamond said Alchin’s poor health – he suffered a stroke in 2011 – meant he was not a flight risk as “he has trouble recalling his wife’s name, and his children and grandchildren’s”.
He said Alchin – who appeared confused and unable to follow proceedings via a video link from Junee jail – had been seeing a speech pathologist to learn to speak again.
But Mr Murray said the matters were serious, as was Alchin’s failure to let authorities know he was back in Australia.
“I certainly have no confidence at all that if the defendant is granted bail that he will appear in court at all,” he said.
Prosecutor Sergeant Shannon Lewis said that while the court had previously ordered that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship be notified of arrest warrants issued in 2009 for Alchin, this was never activated.
The indecent assaults by Alchin, who fled to Ireland, took place in Albury between December 2006 and January 2007.
After fondling the breasts of one patient he said: "You're a very attractive girl and don't let anyone tell you anything different.”
Alchin sold the practice in 2007. He was remanded in custody to re-appear on September 28.