Murder accused fails for second time to get released on bail
Update 4.45pm: THE man accused of the multiple punch murder of a popular Byron Bay DJ has failed for the second time in his bid to be released on bail.
Javen O'Neill, 24, watched proceedings in Lismore Local Court via video link today from custody, where he is being held on remand in relation to the Christmas Day death of DJ "Dad Bod" Chris Bradley.
Mr O'Neill's lawyers sought a second bail hearing on the basis of "special facts" or circumstances, after a Supreme Court judge refused bail at a hearing on January 4.
Police will allege Mr O'Neill, a trained martial artist, punched Mr Bradley with "significant force" at least twice and "probably three times" at a Byron Bay house party on Christmas night.
The 28-year-old DJ collapsed immediately, and was unable to be revived by paramedics. He was pronounced dead at the scene on what was a tragic Christmas night.
Mr O'Neill was subsequently charged with murder.
In Lismore Local Court today Mr O'Neill's solicitor Rajiv Baldeo cited an expert report to argue there was an "absence of visible injuries to the head" which could have caused Mr Bradley's death.
Mr Baldeo told the court the cause of death "remains an open question", and said the conclusion that Mr O'Neill's alleged punches caused Mr Bradley's death may have been made "prematurely".
But this was strongly disputed by the prosecution.
DPP prosecutor Peter Woods said the evidence suggested that Mr Bradley died of a "significant closed head injury with haemorrhaging… which extended to the neck area".
The defence also sought to raise the issue of cocaine use at the party, posing the question whether it may have contributed to Mr Bradley's death.
In his judgement, Magistrate Heilpern said there was still no evidence that Mr Bradley had any cocaine in his system at the time of death, as the autopsy report had not been finalised.
He said the issue of cocaine use was "fully canvassed" in the Supreme Court hearing and was nothing new.
He also said the pathologist who handled the autopsy of the deceased was "adamant" in his evidence that Mr Bradley died of blunt force trauma.
He summarised the defence case as suggesting Mr Bradley "coincidentally" suffered a fatal haemorrhage as a result of cocaine use at the same time he was struck by Mr O'Neill.
In contrast the prosecution case was "clear cut". The evidence was that there was "significant force" in Mr O'Neill's punches and he was "well versed" in a martial art.
He quoted Supreme Court Justice David Davies comments at the previous bail hearing that there was "no doubt" Mr Bradley was punched and then fell to the ground.
"He didn't just drop to the ground as a result of using cocaine," Magistrate Heilpern said, quoting Justice Davies.
The question was not whether cocaine was being used at the party or by Mr Bradley, but whether it was a "substantial and operating cause of death".
Magistrate Heilpern said the evidence pointed "overwhelmingly" and "exclusively" that the cause of Mr Bradley's death was being punched in the head.
In conclusion, he said the assumption of a "coincidental" haemorrhage failed to pass the "common sense" test.
As a result, the Local Court was not "enlivened" to reconsider the case for bail.
The matter is next listed for mention in Tweed Heads Local Court on Tuesday March 13.
Original story: LAWYERS for a man accused of the murder of popular Byron Bay DJ Chris Bradley are expected to cast doubt on whether the alleged victim died of blunt force injury.
But a Magistrate has already pointed out possible flaws in their reasoning ahead of a bail hearing today for murder accused Javen O'Neill.
Mr O'Neill, 24, will appear via video link for his second attempt at bail since his arrest at Ballina airport on December 28.
He is accused of the murder of Mr Bradley at a Byron Bay house party on Christmas night last year during an altercation between the two.
At a previous hearing before the Supreme Court in Sydney, witnesses gave evidence Mr O'Neill punched Mr Bradley several times, causing the well known DJ to collapse.
Mr Bradley was unable to be revived by paramedics and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police allege he died of blunt force trauma as a result of the repeated blows from Mr O'Neill.
In Lismore Local Court today Magistrate David Heilpern said he had received a bundle of submissions from Mr O'Neill's lawyers which contained an assumption "that there were no physical injuries to the deceased visible that would be consistent with the outlined (blunt force) injury".
However, he noted a detective called to give evidence at the previous bail hearing in the Supreme Court on January 4 had said there were "signs of blunt force trauma to the head".
Magistrate Heilpern also said the defence's submissions for the bail hearing contained only cases of people dying from a haemorrhage "as a result of excessive or ongoing cocaine use", but failed to include any cases of people dying as a result blunt force trauma.
The bail hearing is expected to proceed shortly after the lunch break.