The granting of bail to both a former bikie boss accused of an infamous public murder and a father who allegedly allowed his 12-year-old to have sex with a 26-year-old has dramatically intensified debate over the state's new bail laws.
Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi, allegedly part of the 2009 Sydney Airport bikie brawl, and a south-west Sydney father who let his pre-teen daughter marry will both be released within days after separate bail decisions handed down by a judge and a local magistrate on Monday.
"I feel sick and I feel scared," said Frederika Bromwich, the mother of Sydney man Anthony Zervas, who was allegedly killed by Mr Hawi during the brawl.
"I just hope he doesn't come anywhere near my family or the witnesses."
In the Supreme Court, one of Mr Hawi's supporters said loudly to his friends "it's party time".
In 2011, Mr Hawi was found guilty of murdering Zervas in the crowded domestic terminal of Sydney Airport and sentenced to a maximum 28 years' jail.
But last month the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal set aside the conviction of the 34-year-old and he has remained in custody awaiting a retrial.
In granting bail to Mr Hawi on Monday, Justice Ian Harrison made specific reference to the new bail laws, which replaced the presumption against bail for some serious offences with a broad consideration of whether an accused person poses an "unacceptable risk" in light of the conditions that a judge or magistrate can impose.
Justice Harrison indicated that while there were "some unacceptable risks" that Mr Hawi would fail to appear at future proceedings, commit a serious offence, or endanger the safety of the community, these risks "could be mitigated by the imposition of appropriate conditions".
These included that Mr Hawi report to police daily, adhere to a strict curfew, provide two security payments totalling $700,000 and that he not associate with "certain listed persons".
Justice Harrison effectively defended his decision, saying "there is something manifestly very troubling about the avoidable incarceration of people charged with offences, but not yet convicted, beyond the requirement that society should be protected from any unacceptable risks".
"The society in which we all live ought strenuously to turn its face against the making of unproved assumptions about guilt or innocence or, worse still, automatically depriving people of their liberty … unless or until the assumptions are made good."
As radio talkback lines across the city lit up on Monday afternoon, Ms Bromwich said the new laws were skewed in favour of the accused, particularly those accused of the most serious crimes.
"He [Mr Hawi] is still a complete member of the bikie gang – how is [releasing him] the right thing to do?" she said. "He's laughing now."
Magistrate Margaret Quinn told Burwood Local Court the alleged acts of a father who allowed his young daughter to marry and have sex with a man more than twice her age were "abhorrent", "disgusting" and "disgraceful".
She too noted that the accused posed an unacceptable risk, but released him on the basis that the bail conditions imposed were a "mitigating factor".