An 89-year-old Camden Haven man charged with "aggravated sexual touching" has been denied bail after the Port Macquarie Local Court heard he feared for his safety in custody.
Derek Edward Nichols appeared via audio visual link from Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre before Magistrate Roger Prowse on Thursday, December 22.
Nichols is charged with sexually touching another person without consent between 8am on August 1, 2022, and 5pm on August 4, 2022, at a home in North Haven.
Court documents show that his alleged victim is a 25-year-old man who has "diminished capacity - mental" and is "vulnerable".
Nichols was arrested on August 5 and initially granted bail but has been held on remand since August 15 after he was found to have breached bail conditions.
He has now been in custody for more than four months.
Defence lawyer Angela Cheng sought bail for Nichols, saying that he "suffers in custody as a result of his elderly age".
The court heard that Nichols was also having difficulties with other inmates while in custody and was "fearful for his safety"
"There's [a report] of a potential assault that occurred in custody that was complained about by Mr Nichols," Ms Cheng said.
As a result of the alleged incident, the court heard that Nichols now "refuses to exit his cell".
The court heard that a change in Nichols' medical condition had also prompted a new bail application.
Ms Cheng said Nichols was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and medical documents indicate that there is a risk of him being re-diagnosed after noting a rise in his PSA levels.
Magistrate Prowse refused Nichols' bail application.
While addressing Nichols, Magistrate Prowse said there were no "factors sufficient to justify the court considering your application".
"If you're having a bad time in custody then you need to speak to the custodial authorities about that," he said.
"In the absence of medical evidence indicating that you're in imminent risk of dying from the prostate condition, that means that there's no evidence to suggest that it's anything other than existent.
"Medical documentation in relation to its malignancy state and advancement will need to be required before they can be relied upon in court."
Magistrate Prowse also took into account Nichols' history of breaching bail conditions when denying the application.
"There are no bail conditions that could protect the public given your absolute refusal to comply with them," he said.
"Having considered the application, bail will be refused in any event."
Nichols will remain in custody until at least January 19, 2023, when the matter will return to court.
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