Man’s freedom lasted only days

A WEST Albury man charged over a serious assault on his partner had a brief taste of freedom this week before being remanded back in custody.

Murray Robert Leahy, 31, was refused bail in Albury Local Court on July 26 on charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and breaching a domestic violence order.

He has been in jail for seven months and made an application to the Supreme Court in Sydney for bail.

Leahy was released on bail earlier this week, but police initiated a review of that decision which went before the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday.

Three appeal court judges appeared through a video link to court in Albury where Leahy appeared for the hearing.

They were told that the matter remained in the local court with a decision pending on whether alternative charges would be laid.

If Leahy was committed to stand trial, it could be October before the matter proceeded in the District Court at Albury.

But the appeal court judges ruled Leahy should be back into custody and he was in the cells at the police station yesterday afternoon.

It is alleged Leahy inflicted a punch that caused his partner to fall to the floor and he then kicked her in the head several times.

A witness entered their house and saw the victim with a cut above her left eye and there was bruising and swelling to her eye and face.

One eye was half closed and she complained of soreness to her face and body.

The victim had limited vision and restricted movement in her mouth.

She went to the Albury hospital for an X-ray of her head and face.

She obtained medication for continuing pain and was diagnosed with a depressed fracture to her left cheekbone.

Leahy disputes much of what has been alleged by police.

The appearance by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal in an audio-visual link to the city’s District Court room was made possible through technology put in place late last year.

The lack of such facilities was highlighted by a District Court judge in February last year when a rape trial was aborted.

But member for Albury Greg Aplin convinced NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith of the need for the video link technology which allows witnesses to testify in hearings from remote locations and connections to courts throughout the state.