- Unreported Judgment
SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND
No S4230 of 2006
RE AN APPLICATION FOR BAIL BY
RICHARD ALLAN GEDDES JAMES
HER HONOUR: This is an application for bail by Richard Allan Geddes James, who has been charged with one count of murder. Because of that charge against him he may only be granted bail by the Supreme Court or a Judge of the Supreme Court pursuant to section 13 of the Bail Act.
When a defendant is charged with an offence to which section 13 applies the Court shall refuse to grant bail unless the defendant shows cause why his detention in custody is not justified. The justification for detaining someone in custody pending trial depends on whether or not there is an unacceptable risk that the defendant, if released on bail, would fail to appear and surrender into custody; would, while released on bail, commit an offence, or endanger the safety of welfare of the person who is claimed to be the victim of the offence with which the defendant is charged, or anyone else's safety or welfare, or interfere with witnesses, or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.
The Court is required to consider a number of matters that are relevant to determining the acceptability or otherwise of the risk. Subsection (2) of section 16 sets out the following:
(1)the nature and seriousness of the offence;
(2)the character, antecedents, associations, home environment, employment and background of the defendant;
(3)the history of any previous grants of bail to the defendant;
(4)the strength of the evidence against the defendant.
This is a serious offence and there is prima facie evidence at least of manslaughter against the defendant. One could not at this stage, however, say that it was an overwhelmingly strong case of murder. Apart from the offence it is necessary therefore to look at the personal circumstances of the defendant or the applicant for bail.
The circumstances in Mr James' case are that he has absolutely no criminal history. He has never offended in the past and never been charged with a criminal offence. He is single and has no children and is 38 years old. He was born in Queensland; his family is resident in Queensland; his parents are both retired pharmacists who reside in Queensland and he is prepared to reside with them and they are prepared to have him reside with them. He has a sister who is a professional, who resides in Queensland, and is married with two children. His married brother lives also in Queensland with his family.
The applicant was schooled in Queensland and graduated from the University of Queensland. He has been in full-time employment with the same employer, for the past 12 years.
Unusually for a bail applicant, he presents many references attesting to his otherwise good character, and indeed his non-aggressiveness, from many people who have known him for a long period of time, who work in many different walks of life, and who might be expected to know him extremely well. Many of those attest to his good performance and professionalism in the workplace as well as to his good character. He therefore has very solid ties within the jurisdiction and it would not appear that he is an unacceptable risk of failing to attend to answer these charges.
With careful conditions which particularly take him out of working in crowd control and security it does not appear to me, given his history, that he is an unacceptable risk of reoffending whilst on bail. There can be no proper suggestion that he is an unacceptable risk of interfering with witnesses which would appear to be quite contrary to his character.
Given the careful conditions which have been discussed in submissions I am satisfied that if he is granted bail he will not be an unacceptable risk of reoffending whilst on bail or of failing to attend to answer his bail, and therefore I will grant bail on those conditions.
- Published Case Name:
James, Re an application for bail
- Shortened Case Name:
 QSC 118
23 May 2006
No Litigation History