BAILED OVER BAG-SNATCH: Thief feared for his safety after threats in jail

A DRUG-addicted Jindera man, who stole an elderly Albury woman’s handbag before being chased and caught, has won a bid for bail after receiving death threats in Junee jail.

Solicitor Tim Hemsley said Josh Palmer was threatened and had belongings stolen from him, while in strict protection.

Mr Hemsley said when making an application for bail in Albury Local Court that Palmer, 18, had been remanded in custody for the first time and it had been a lesson for him.

“He did not leave his cell yesterday. He has genuine fears if he returns to custody,” Mr Hemsley said.

Palmer appeared in court in person rather than via a video-link from jail and pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing from a person.

He was released on $2000 bail, with a $1000 surety and a $1000 cash deposit, with sentencing set down for February 24.

A woman, 82, was standing at the corner of North Street and Park Avenue about 11.45am on December 31.

She was holding a handbag which contained her wallet with a number of cards, including her NSW driver’s licence, a bank card, a small amount of cash, car keys and other personal items.

Palmer grabbed the handbag and ran off, but was pursued by Albury electrician Mark Kirk and was detained until police arrived.

It was admitted to police by Palmer that he took the bag with the intention of using the proceeds to pay drug debts.

Magistrate Tony Murray was told Palmer was remorseful for what he did and had written a letter of apology to the victim.

Police prosecutor Sgt Shannon Lewis opposed bail for Palmer saying he was put on a three-month suspended sentence during a court appearance on December 17 and stole the bag just 14 days later.

“The victim was extremely vulnerable,” Sgt Lewis said.

Mr Hemsley said Palmer had spent seven days in custody and if refused bail, would remain there for another seven weeks while a pre-sentence report was prepared.

“He has a drug addiction. He has had it for some period of time,” Mr Hemsley said.

He said Palmer is the son of a Corrective Services officer which had made his time in jail more difficult.

Mr Murray asked whether any reports had been made to authorities about the threats to Palmer.

Mr Hemsley said a formal complaint had been made about one prisoner.

As part of his bail conditions, Palmer must report to police three times a week and has a 6pm to 7am curfew.