Kerri Moore

Machete used to rob Kalka Palms Hotel

AN alleged armed robber was granted bail last week after his solicitor exposed a number of holes in the prosecution's "tenuous" case.

Travis Te Ao Wirihana Brown was charged after a hold up at the Kalka Palms Hotel on Lakes Creek Rd in Rockhampton last October 24.

During a hand up committal hearing in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court, however, solicitor Matthew Heelan said on the evidence he believed a jury would not be able to find his client guilty.

He said it was therefore unfair to keep Brown in custody.

Police prosecutor Karen Dunham said it was alleged Brown entered the hotel's bottle shop about 8.55pm.

She said he had concealed his face using a t-shirt.

The court heard he then allegedly went behind the counter, producing a machete.

A 19-year-old female employee was ordered to place cash from the till into a plastic bag.

Ms Dunham said police alleged Brown fled the scene with the bag into nearby bushland.

She said a dog squad was deployed and $1940 in cash was found, as well as a backpack on nearby railway tracks.

The court heard a machete sheath and some items of clothing were in the backpack.

Ms Dunham said Brown's DNA was found on these items and he was arrested in November.

She objected to bail due to his history of violent offences.

While Mr Heelan agreed Brown has a bad history, he said the prosecution case relied entirely on the DNA.

He pointed out to the court that three other persons' DNA had been found on the backpack.

He said Brown had instructed that a number of his belongings were stolen from his residence when he was living in shared accommodation.

"There are too many other hypotheses consistent with his innocence," Mr Heelan said.

"It's not just to remand him."

Magistrate Barry Cosgrove agreed to bail and the matter was committed to trial in the Rockhampton District Court.

However, Brown remains in custody as he is serving a sentence for another offence. He will be released in July.



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