A Mullumbimby man facing numerous charges has appeared before court.
A Mullumbimby man facing numerous charges has appeared before court.

Accused had ‘not understood’ what it meant to be on bail

A MULLUMBIMBY man facing assault, property-related and other charges has been granted bail.

Bawoo Cockatoo, 24, was arrested on August 29 after an incident in River Terrace, Mullumbimby, during which he broke a rear passenger window of a black Volkswagen while a woman and her children, aged eight and 11, were inside.

When Mr Cockatoo faced Byron Bay Local Court via video link from custody on Monday, solicitor Cameron Bell lodged a guilty plea to the charge of destroying or damaging property.

He also lodged guilty pleas to other unrelated charges, including two counts of assault, trespass, using offensive language and breaching an apprehended violence order.

All related to incidents within the Mullumbimby township.

Mr Cockatoo had twice applied for bail already.

But Mr Bell told the court his support workers had rallied together to work on a concrete plan to help Mr Cockatoo and protect the community if he was released.

Mr Bell said while his client was accepted into a Queensland-based rehab facility, the border restrictions posed major issues.

Another facility which he may be able to attend could not assess Mr Cockatoo while he was being held on remand, the court heard.

"Residential rehabilitation is virtually impossible for anyone to get into at this point in time," Mr Bell said.

Prosecutor Chris Martin opposed bail, saying the accused had breached community-based orders in the past.

"The community needs to be protected," Sgt Martin said.

"Certainly, nothing has worked."

Mr Bell said his client had a "very significant underlying developmental disability" and had so far failed to grasp the gravity of his situation, including while on community corrections orders.

"He has not understood what community orders are all about," Mr Bell said.

"He has not understood what it is to be on bail or a CCO."

He said his mother, who was in court, and his case workers believed the "fear of being in custody" would change this.

Magistrate Karen Stafford granted Mr Cockatoo strict conditional bail and the case returns to court on November 16.


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