Man, 27, tells court he is not hotel axe bandit
ACCUSED of being an axe-wielding bandit in a violent robbery at Central Lane Hotel, police say Ashley Akuhata Martin had a $20,000 debt at the time.
In his second bail application to go before Gladstone Magistrates Court since his arrest, Martin, 27, said he was not one of two armed men who robbed the hotel at 1.30am on Monday, May 2.
Martin was identified by one of two female hotel staff as being the man who held an axe during the robbery in which $12,000 cash was stolen.
The women were kneed in the head by one of the bandits, the robbery captured on CCTV.
Go To Court lawyer Ali Rana made the fresh, unsuccessful, bail application before magistrate Jeffrey Clarke, citing a number of legal grounds, including Martin had not been legally represented at his first application.
Mr Rana said it was unclear what legal advice he received prior to his first application.
He said Martin was of Maori background but grew up in Australia and if granted bail would live in Sydney with his father, James Martin, who attended court with family and friends.
Mr Rana said there was no DNA evidence to link him to the crime.
Gladstone prosecutor Barry Stevens opposed bail and in police submissions alleged Martin told officers he was in debt $20,000.
Sergeant Stevens maintained Martin, if released, was a danger to the safety and welfare of others because of the nature of the violent robbery, had no ties to Queensland, could flee and, if found guilty, would receive a jail term.
Martin faces charges of robbery with actual violence while in company; entering premises with intent; supplying dangerous drugs; and other drug offences.
Police say a "tick sheet" was found at his home showing he was owed $1750. And photos held on his mobile phone related to amphetamines.
In the case put before Mr Clarke, police allege one woman had clicked that she knew one of the offenders from his previous visits to the hotel. She also checked his identity on Facebook.
Police are alleging clothes found at Martin's home down the street from the hotel look similar to those worn by one of the bandits.
Mr Clarke, in refusing him bail, found a prima facie case did exist, the allegations were very serious and involved threats to two women, there was evidence Martin gave a false alibi to police and police had concerns he would fail to appear before court that could not be managed by bail conditions.
He said impressive references by his family all seemed to be unaware of clear evidence of Martin's drug use. And "selfies" on his phone revealed drug activity.