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'Potential to flip': accused choker refused bail

Date

Michael Inman

A man charged with choking his housemate until she passed out has been refused bail.

Richard John Stevens fronted the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday on charges of assault and choking a person into unconsciousness.

The defence initially sought a mental health assessment, arguing Stevens had been on medication for anxiety and depression since acquiring a brain injury in a car accident a decade ago.

But when Magistrate David Mossop refused the order, the defence instead applied for bail.

The prosecution opposed the application.

A police informant told the court that Stevens had threatened to burn down his Red Hill home and kill himself.

The officer said police had concerns that Stevens could interfere or harm the witness or himself if given bail.

The defendant told the court he had done the wrong thing by allegedly attacking the woman but was having impulse control issues as a result of coming off methadone.

Magistrate Mossop adjourned the hearing when the victim entered the court and attempted to speak with defence and prosecution lawyers.

The complainant told the prosecution she was willing for Stevens to be granted bail to return as her housemate.

But the prosecution continued to oppose bail.

Magistrate Mossop remanded Stevens in custody, saying there was a risk the defendant would endanger himself or the victim.

“It's clear he has the potential to … flip,” Magistrate Mossop said.

Stevens was marked as a prisoner at risk.

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