EVIDENCE: Former Yellow Jersey bike store owner Troy Dobinson leaving court after appearing as a witness in the trial of former mayor Andrew Antoniolli.
EVIDENCE: Former Yellow Jersey bike store owner Troy Dobinson leaving court after appearing as a witness in the trial of former mayor Andrew Antoniolli. Cordell Richardson

Witness at centre of Antoniolli bike allegations faces court

A WITNESS at the centre of allegations about a bicycle Andrew Antoniolli allegedly bought using ratepayer cash has provided a mixed recollection of events.

Troy Dobinson was the owner of the Yellow Jersey bicycle store on Brisbane St from 2004 until it was sold in 2017.

He appeared as a witness in the trial of Mr Antoniolli, who faces 13 counts of fraud and one of attempted fraud.

In 2016 the Red and White Foundation purchased a voucher for a bike from Mr Dobinson's store worth $3200; which would be auctioned at its gala dinner.

Mr Antoniolli attended the foundation's dinner and successfully bid on the voucher.

The prosecution alleges the mayor used the voucher he bought using council money to later acquire a road bike from Mr Dobinson's store.

Mr Antoniolli disputes this, saying the bike was gifted by Mr Dobinson on the basis he would become an ambassador for cycling and was not linked to the voucher he bid on.

Mr Dobinson told the court he never gifted Mr Antoniolli a bike, but had gifted smaller items like gear and jerseys.

Defence barrister Peter Callaghan questioned if Mr Dobinson felt "any awkwardness" telling the court he did not gift a bike to Mr Antoniolli.

"No," Mr Dobinson said.

"I'd suggest to you the bike Mr Antoniolli did obtain... it had nothing to do with the voucher that went to the Red and White auction," Mr Callaghan put to the bike store owner.

Yes," Mr Dobinson replied.

Crown Prosecutor Sarah Farnden later asked Mr Dobinson: "Did the voucher have anything to do with the bike?"

"Yes," Mr Dobinson said.

On April 27, 2018, 10 days after Mr Antoniolli was interviewed by the CCC, he visited Mr Dobinson's workplace at Llewellyn Motors.

"Andrew was looking for a vehicle from his wife," Mr Dobinson told the court.

Mr Dobinson said he showed the then-mayor some options before the conversation shifted to other topics.

"We got onto what's happening here today," Mr Dobinson said, referring to the allegations against Mr Antoniolli.

 

David Morrison leaving court after appearing as a witness in the trial of former mayor Andrew Antoniolli.
David Morrison leaving court after appearing as a witness in the trial of former mayor Andrew Antoniolli. Cordell Richardson

Ms Farnden asked what else was discussed.

"If I had a visit from the police," Mr Dobinson responded.

"He (Mr Antoniolli) more stated, I'd given him the bike."

Mr Dobinson said he responded to Mr Antoniolli; "no".

There were nine witnesses called by the prosecution on day two of the trial, including Mr Antoniolli's election campaign manager Ali Grant.

Ms Grant drove the mayor away from the police watchhouse when he was charged with fraud in May 2018.

Ms Grant did not make eye contact with Mr Antoniolli when she entered the court to give evidence yesterday.

Former councillor David Morrison, a colleague of Mr Antoniolli for 17 years, told the court he also used the council's community donations fund to pay for auction items.

Mr Morrison confirmed he purchased an Anzac print for $1000, a signed guitar for $150 and a Shane Warne item for $350.

The former division one councillor said it was his understanding items could be purchased if there was no personal gain to the councillor.

"If I knew it was wrong I wouldn't do it," Mr Morrison told the court.

The trial continues before Magistrate Anthony Gett on Monday.



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