News

Man bailed over Mooroopna alleged assault

By Ashlea Witoslawski

A Mooroopna man has been released on bail with a number of conditions over an alleged serious assault which left another man with life-threatening injuries.

Michael Muller, 58, from Mooroopna, faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday via video link from the Metropolitan Remand Centre after he was involved in an altercation with a man at a hotel at Mooroopna on Sunday, June 30.

The accused was charged with intentionally causing serious injury, recklessly causing serious injury as well as assault with a schooner glass and a bar stool.

Police informant Senior Constable Shaun-Maree Brock told the court the victim was still in a critical condition after being flown to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne after the incident.

Sen Const Brock said there has been ‘‘no change, no improvement and no deterioration’’, in the alleged victim’s current condition as he remained in the intensive care unit.

She said the left side of the man’s body continued to have no movement or reaction and attempts to take the man off a ventilator failed.

‘‘They’ve indicated to me it’s too early to call at this stage,’’ she said.

Sen Const Brock told the court the police had gained access to CCTV footage of the alleged assault which was played to a closed court.

Defence lawyer Luke Slater said the footage showed the accused could have a good chance of pleading self-defence in the future.

‘‘That was some of the most remarkable footage one could ever witness,’’ Mr Slater said.

Magistrate David Faram agreed with Mr Slater, stating the circumstances led to ‘‘a terrible outcome’’.

‘‘In any event, I would submit that we have a tragedy here,’’ Mr Faram said.

‘‘The footage shows that Mr Muller may have a real defence of self-defence.’’

Mr Faram said the accused had to show compelling evidence to ensure he would not risk re-offending if a bail application was granted.

‘‘In determining if there is an unacceptable risk, I’m required to take into account a number of factors,’’ he said.

‘‘It goes without saying in my view that the offences caused by Mr Muller are serious.’’

Mr Faram approved the bail application with a number of strict conditions, including that Mr Muller report to Shepparton Police Station three times a week, not travel out of Victoria, not consume alcohol, not communicate with witnesses, not attend at any licensed premises and a curfew between 10pm and 6am unless accompanied by his friend, with whom he will be staying.

A committal mention date was set for September 24.