Bail bid sinks for candidate charged with pool scam
Police say a former council hopeful was living a lavish lifestyle before he was charged with ripping $167,000 off swimming pool customers.
Brad Murray Evans' bid for freedom was shut down at Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Wednesday when he was refused bail on 12 fraud charges on the grounds that he was a "flight risk".
The court heard 12 people, between Logan and Mackay, complained to police that they had provided money to Mr Evans, 32, who allegedly failed to deliver on his promise of a new pool.
The most recent complaint came from a Pomona resident on Wednesday morning when two new charges were laid.
Mr Evans, who ran for Division 9 in Bundaberg Regional Council's 2016 elections, was then brought from the watch house to the courtroom.
Police prosecutor Rebecca Lambert said Mr Evans disclosed that he intended to plead not guilty to his charges, which would likely be dealt with in a higher court.
She said Mr Evans was arrested at the weekend when police found him at Tewantin with his girlfriend in a car full of luggage.
Senior Constable Lambert said Mr Evans' girlfriend had quit her job and told her mum they were on their way to say goodbye.
" … because they intended to travel to Western Australia," Constable Lambert said.
But defence lawyer Brad Hill said his client had just returned from staying with his sick mother, was not running from police and had no offences of failing to appear in court on his record.
He said Mr Evans stopped trading within his pool business when a popular Facebook post from two weeks ago spurred calls for Mr Evans to return money.
Mr Hill said while police appeared to hold good evidence, Mr Evans' business was simply facing financial difficulty.
Constable Lambert said police contacted the owner of a Marcoola restaurant and Bundaberg Hotel who Mr Evans swore he had now been offered a job with.
The woman denied being friends with Mr Evans or offering him work.
"He is an absolute flight risk," magistrate Matthew McLaughlin said.
"The only way I would consider bail seriously with him is to have a significant surety, something in the order of $100,000 hopefully from a family member which would dissuade him from running because those people would be left carrying the bag.
"The man not only seems to be a fraudster and a conman but someone who is prepared to swear an affidavit with multiple untruths, just making things up, in order to get his bail."
Bail was refused.
Mr McLaughlin said statements from police that Mr Evans was living a lavish lifestyle were viewed as rhetoric at this stage.
The court heard Mr Evans was living in holiday rentals with his girlfriend last year and at one point was paying $500 in weekly rent while his girlfriend contributed $400.
It's expected Mr Evans will remain in jail until his next court mention on April 7.