A Melbourne man accused of using pipe bombs that destroyed cars, washing machines and portaloos allegedly ordered his girlfriend to delete footage of the mayhem from Snapchat.
Jamie Smith is facing more than 20 charges including eight counts of causing an explosion likely to endanger life and eight counts of reckless conduct endangering life.
The 29-year-old had his bail bid rejected in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Thursday with a judge labelling the allegations “disturbing and somewhat baffling”.
“What could possess mature adults to engage in the sort of reckless conduct apparent in this case is mystifying,” Justice Andrew Tinney said in his decision.
Camera IconSeveral portaloos were destroyed in the pipe bombing spree on July 4. Penny Stephens Credit: News Corp Australia
Pipe bombs were set off across various suburbs including Heidelberg, Northcote, Ivanhoe and Kew in an “allegedly co-ordinated, well-planned series of attacks” on July 4, Justice Andrew Tinney said.
Eight devices were detonated between 7.13pm and 9.45pm, destroying washing machines, portaloos, letterboxes and sending shrapnel flying across residential streets, the court was told.
Residents on Studley Park Road, Kew heard a “loud explosion” about 9.45pm and a local found his car’s sunroof had been “smashed”, discovering the remnants of an explosive device in the rear of the vehicle, Justice Tinney said.
About 20 minutes earlier in Kew East, a man heard a large bang and found the washing machine sitting in the tray of his ute had been destroyed.
The explosion scattered glass and other debris 80m away from the site of the explosion. Two portaloos were also destroyed using pipe bombs at Kew and Heidelberg Heights.
Camera IconA washing machine on the back of a ute was also destroyed by a pipe bomb, the Supreme Court of Victoria was told. Supplied Credit: Supplied
Smith’s brother Raymond and another man are also charged in connection to the explosions, the judge said. Both brothers were arrested on July 15 after raids at their properties.
CCTV footage showed a car with distinctive features at the scene of some of the explosions matched a car Jamie Smith owned, the court was told.
The court heard an anonymous tipster called Crime Stoppers and claimed Raymond Smith bragged about his involvement and uploaded footage of the explosions onto Snapchat.
Prison phone calls to his girlfriend allegedly captured Jamie Smith directing her to access his brother’s Snapchat account, the court was told.
He allegedly gave her the account details in a prison call on July 23 and urged her: “Make sure you get it done.”
In another call to her on July 29, Mr Smith, with his brother in the background of the call, allegedly asked his girlfriend to call another man and give him the Snapchat details to delete the videos, Justice Tinney said.
These calls represented efforts Mr Smith made to arrange for the destruction of evidence, according to prosecutors.
The lawyer for Mr Smith argued his client faced a lengthy delay ahead of any trial, pointing to his young age and labelling the case “circumstantial”.
There was also no DNA or fingerprint evidence currently in the case, the defence lawyer said.
But Justice Tinney said Mr Smith was charged with offending involving “premeditated, planned and deliberate” detonation of explosive devices in residential streets.
He said the motive was unknown and the explosions exposed the community to “great danger” and the potential for injury or death.
“Those who engaged in it (the offending) well knew the danger to which they were exposing innocent members of the public and yet saw fit to repeat the conduct over and over,” Justice Tinney said.
The judge said Mr Smith was facing serious charges and could be handed a lengthy prison term if found guilty.
Mr Smith was denied bail and will next face court in October.Internet Explorer Channel Network