Daily Examiner

11 months in jail waiting for trial only to be set free

NEVILLE Jnr McGrady spent 11 months in custody waiting on a two-and-a-half-day trial, which finished with the case against him thrown out of Grafton District Court.

On Wednesday Judge Wells told the jury members they had no option other than to dismiss the robbery charge laid on the 25-year-old man from Malabugilmah Village.

The court heard how on January 14, 2012 David Grobben was walking back to his accommodation at the Post Office Hotel in South Grafton about 4am when he was king hit and kicked while on the ground and robbed of $6.

After being questioned by police, McGrady, who pleaded not guilty, admitted to being at the scene but said he helped Grobben get up after the attack.

The Crown's case hinged on the fact McGrady was there and the fact his DNA was found on the victim's shorts.

But at the end of the second day of the hearing, McGrady's defence rubbished the case, saying there was no evidence upon which a jury could properly convict him.

The court heard how the evening before the robbery, Grobben had shared "four or five rounds of cask wine" with a group of Aboriginal men and women in Grafton's Memorial Park. They invited him to a party in Spring St, South Grafton, which he went along to later that night before wandering around Grafton then returning to his hotel.

The victim couldn't say whether or not he'd met McGrady earlier in the night.

During police investigations, the victim viewed a photo line-up of potential suspects and identified eight possible candidates, none of whom were McGrady.

Judge Wells agreed with the defence's request and instructed the jury to find McGrady not guilty.

"There was evidence of him (the victim) having contact with a number of Aboriginal people ..." Judge Wells said.

"Because the Crown couldn't establish when that contact occurred, then the Crown really has no evidence upon which you could properly convict the accused."

McGrady was found not guilty and released.

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