Court photo   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Court photo Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK221012ccourt6

Man accused of trying to rape woman, 91, walks from court

A MAN accused of breaking into a house intending to rape a 91-year-old woman has been released on bail, with a Rockhampton magistrate noting a lack of evidence in the case.

Emerald detectives charged the 22-year-old man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, on Tuesday after he allegedly broke into the woman's Springsure home on New Year's Eve and assaulted her.

He was charged with two counts of possessing drug utensils and burglary, as well as one count each of intent to commit rape, vehicle theft, failing to stop at a road accident, unlawful possession of weapons and possessing items suspected of having been used in drug offences.

The man was remanded in custody and appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court today, where he made a bail application.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Renae Cannon opposed the application, saying there was "extreme concern for the community".

Acting Magistrate Mark Morrow questioned where this concern had been generated, asking Snr Const Cannon to pinpoint who was concerned.

Snr Const Cannon said the concern arose from the alleged assault of a 91-year-old woman, but Mr Morrow said while this was concerning it did not necessarily equate to further offences being committed if bail was granted.

Mr Morrow said the police statement opposing bail appeared "to be full of opinions", which was inappropriate for the legal document.

He questioned why he should not dismiss the opposition altogether given it did not follow procedure.

Snr Const Cannon said there would be concern among the Springsure community were he to return to the town, but Mr Morrow said he would not be allowed in the area.

She said forensic evidence in the case was still being processed, with police relying on CCTV footage from a pub, where the man claimed to be at the time of the assault, and an eyewitness who placed him near the scene at the time.

Mr Morrow noted the case was "not particularly strong" based on that evidence alone.

The 22-year-old was granted bail on the undertaking he live at a Sunshine Coast address and not enter Springsure.

He is scheduled to appear in Emerald Magistrates Court on March 7.

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