ACT News


Slap accused denied bail

A man allegedly assaulted his pregnant partner just weeks after being released from jail for attacking a woman holding a baby, a court has heard. In that incident he also attacked the woman's one-legged mother.

James William Shearer, 21, is facing a charge of common assault for allegedly slapping his pregnant partner in early May. He was released on bail and told not to go near the woman, and not to have any contact with her.

But Shearer was arrested again when police found the pair together at her Wanniassa unit.

He appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Friday, again applying for release on bail.

Prosecutor Anthony Williamson opposed bail, arguing Shearer was a risk of interfering with witnesses, and unlikely to comply with his bail conditions.

Shearer, the court heard, had been out of jail for only a few weeks when he allegedly slapped the pregnant partner.


He had been in jail for assaulting a woman last year. She was holding a baby, and when her own mother, who only had one leg, came to her aid Shearer assaulted her too. While out on bail for that offence Shearer threatened the complainant, telling her was going to put a bullet in her head.

He was sentenced to six months' jail, but released after one month with the rest of his jail time suspended.

Mr Williamson said Shearer's past actions showed he was likely to interfere with witnesses, and had little regard for court orders.

He said that since Shearer had been released on bail the complainant had become hostile and unco-operative, and had sought to withdraw the charges.

Mr Williamson said the inference could be drawn that Shearer had intimidated her.

The 21-year-old has pleaded not guilty and claims to have an alibi, saying he was at Directions ACT in Woden undergoing testing.

Shearer's lawyer told the court his client had ''no reason whatsoever'' to intimidate the complainant, given she had already sought to have the charges withdrawn.

He said the offence of slapping was not at the high end of seriousness, and argued his client would have to spend weeks in jail waiting for his hearing.

But special magistrate Graeme Lunney found that there was a ''very real threat'' that Shearer would renew his contact with the complainant, and said he could only speculate about the possible consequences.

Shearer was denied bail and will appear in court next month.