Retired farmer charged with child sex offences granted bail
A RETIRED farmer who was charged with sexually assaulting a child will return to his Darling Downs home after he was granted bail, a court heard.
The man in his 70s was charged with nine offences including sexual intercourse with a child under 10.
It is alleged the offences happened in the Northern Rivers between January 2014 and December 2019.
Court documents stated the last offence allegedly happened between midnight on November 30 and 9am, December 1, 2019.
The man was arrested on December 12 and refused bail at Tweed Heads Police Station.
He appeared via video link in Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday, where he applied for bail.
Defence lawyer Michael McMillan told the court his client was the primary carer for his wife.
Mr McMillan said his client lived on a property about 35 minutes' drive from the nearest hospital where his wife went for treatment.
He said his client's health had also deteriorated since being in custody.
"He has suffered since being in custody and has lost a lot of weight," Mr McMillan said.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Val Short told the court the defendant was a long-term friend of the victim's family and opposed the bail application.
"It's not to say he wouldn't come across the victim's father because they're both in the same industry," Sgt Short said.
"These are serious charges and there is an ongoing investigation at present in relation to further matters."
Magistrate Jeff Linden granted the man's bail under the condition the man reported to police every week, stayed at least 10km away from the victim and agreed to forfeit $10,000 if he broke those conditions.
The man was adjourned until February 19 for a mention on the balance of the brief.