Lawyer assault hearing adjourned

A COMMITTAL hearing of serious assault charges against Tweed Heads lawyer William 'Bill' Morland was adjourned yesterday when a NSW Police Prosecutor at Lismore Local Court realised he knew him.

It was the second time the hearing was adjourned - the first time because the magistrate set to hear the case also recognised him.

Morland, 48, is pleading not guilty to charges of assault causing bodily harm and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Trevor Bathie at Tweed Heads on November 26, 2006.

Ten witnesses are expected to give evidence in the case which was adjourned to June 4 before Magistrate Robyn Denes.

Prosecutor Sgt Peter Costin-Neilsen told the court the police prosecutor handling the case was sick and he had been called in.

He was aware of Morland's occupation and when the accused saw him at the court Morland recognised him.

“I feel somewhat compromised but there are no other prosecutors available,” Sgt Costin-Neilsen said.

Magistrate Denes said it was not his fault and it was the second time the matter had been listed for hearing.

“The sitting magistrate had a conflict of interest that day - he knew the accused,” said defence lawyer James Fuggle.

Ms Denes said she did not have a conflict of interest and that was why the hearing had been listed before her. She said it was unlikely that a Sydney magistrate would hear the matter.

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