Man granted bail over party death
One of the men arrested over the death of teen Alex Ioane during a brawl at a party in Sydney's southwest has been granted bail on a $100,000 surety after a serious charge was dropped.
Elimeleki Taumalolo was charged in April with concealing a serious offence and accessory after the fact to murder following the alleged attack on Mr Ioane in Ingleburn last May.
The latter charge will be withdrawn in court next week, his Supreme Court bail application heard on Tuesday, and replaced with a less serious allegation of hindering a police investigation.
Defence lawyer Peter Lange said the 26-year-old would now face a seven-year maximum sentence if found guilty of the offence, instead of 25 years, which made his ongoing detention unjustified.
Mr Taumalolo appeared on screen from Long Bay jail, where he has spent the bulk of the last three months, wearing prison greens with a crucifix hanging around his neck.
Police will allege in court he withheld information about the incident until his arrest 11 months later.
Mr Lange said prosecutors would have to prove his client did not believe the men were acting in self defence.
"There is no evidence to undermine that suggestion," Mr Lange said, adding it was unlikely Mr Taumalolo would be sentenced to full-time incarceration.
Prosecutors opposed his bail application, arguing he posed a threat of intimidating police witnesses, but Justice Richard Cavanagh said stringent conditions could prevent that.
Justice Cavanagh imposed conditions including banning Mr Taumalolo from contacting witnesses or his co-accused, to abstain from drugs and alcohol and wear an electronic monitoring device at all times.
Witnesses reported seeing Mr Ioane, 18, kicked in the back of the head during the brawl before he collapsed to the ground.
Paramedics found him lying on the road seriously injured before he died at Liverpool Hospital.
Mr Elimeleki's younger brother Mateaki Jeff Taumalolo, his cousin Tafuna Taumalolo and two minors have all been charged with murder.
Three women, including Tafuna's sister Lute Taumalolo, Mateaki's girlfriend Marlee Lusio and a 15-year-old have also been charged with concealing a serious offence.
Suliasi Levula Taumalolo, 21, was charged with affray.
Elimeleki Taumalolo, who will be under virtual house arrest while on bail, is to next face Campbelltown Local Court on July 22.
Originally published as Man granted bail over party death