BAIL BID: Ex-Kleenmaid director ‘sleeping on floor’
DISGRACED businessman Andrew Young has been refused bail despite a court being told he is sleeping on a mattress on the floor in jail and is worried that his health and age are putting him at “increased risk” during the coronavirus.
The 66-year-old former Kleenmaid director is serving a nine-year jail sentence at Woodford Correctional Centre after being found guilty of fraud and insolvent trading, 11 years after the company’s $100 million collapse in 2009.
In January, a jury found Young had defrauded Westpac bank out of $13 million and accumulated debts of more than $750,000 while trading insolvent.
At the Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday, Young made an application for bail while he appeals his conviction and sentence.
Defence barrister Saul Holt said the strength of the appeal and the current pandemic amounted to “exceptional circumstances” that warranted Young’s release on bail.
Mr Holt said Young had underlying heart conditions and if there was a coronavirus outbreak at Woodford Correctional Centre it could be fatal.
The court was also told Young is temporarily sleeping on a mattress on a floor in a communal area.
“If there is (an outbreak) then the likelihood is that it will spread hard and fast,” Mr Holt said.
“And if it does, then the genuine risk is that he would suffer severe health outcomes including, to put it bluntly, the risk of death.”
The court was told that Young was appealing his conviction on 13 grounds – including that the judge made a mistake in finding him fit for trial.
During the lengthy trial, Young represented himself and argued he was unfit for trial because of issues with his health and memory.
Mr Holt argued that once there was a question of unfitness, the decision of Young’s capability to proceed with the trial should have been decided by the jury, not by the judge.
Commonwealth prosecutor Lincoln Crowley, who prosecuted Young during the lengthy trial, said the judge made the right decision and there were compensations made by the court for Young’s health issues.
Mr Crowley also said it was “premature” to grant Young bail because of the potential threat of coronavirus, as there had not been any confirmed cases at the Woodford jail.
The court was told that Young’s appeal might not be heard until 2021 because of the complexity of the case which involved more than 1000 documents.
Justice Ann Lyons said she thought Young was not in any immediate danger because Queensland Corrective Services had introduced rigid medical screening and rules that new inmates undergo self isolation for 14 days.
Justice Lyons also said she did no think there was enough to grant bail on the strength of the appeal.
“Clearly there are grounds for appeal and important question to be answered by the Court of Appeal,” she said.
“But it would not seem to me that it is clear cut.”
Young’s bail was refused. – NewsRegional