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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Jarod Lance Bancroft,Curtis Stewart Bickle appeared before Brisbane Magistrates Court today on charges including assault occasioning bodily harm

Jarod Lance Bancroft, 36, and Curtis Stewart Bickle, 29, appeared before Brisbane Magistrates Court today on charges including assault occasioning bodily harm while armed, and threatening violence. The court was told the pair were wearing balaclavas and carrying hand guns when they approached a man outside his Corinda home, in Brisbane's west, about 9.10pm (AEST) on Wednesday. Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Brian Cazzulino said Mr Bancroft, Mr Bickle and the man were all known to each other through the illicit drug trade. Mr Bancroft's seven-year-old daughter and his former partner were residing with the man. The court was told the pair ordered the man back inside his house and when he refused Mr Bickle fired a shot into the air and held a gun to the man's temple. After forcing him inside, Mr Bancroft pushed his young daughter aside before herding his former partner, the man and another woman into a room, the court was told. It was alleged one of the offenders then forced a hand gun inside the mouth of one of the women, smacking her in the teeth. One of the women then allegedly grabbed a lamp and smashed it into the back of Mr Bickle's head. The male victim then struggled with one of the attackers over a loaded hand gun and a shot was fired into the ground before the attackers left. The female victims allegedly identified the attackers through their eyes, physical build and "having known them for so long". No motive was given for the attack which Snr Sgt Cazzulino labelled a copycat of the Channel Nine drama Underbelly, based on the Melbourne gangland war. "It really read as if it was an episode of Underbelly and police are concerned it was a copycat situation," he said.
Mr Bickle's defence lawyer Mark Houghton described the reference to the drama as "inflammatory", though magistrate Wally Ehrich said he'd never watched the show. Mr Houghton criticised what he said was a lack of evidence against his client, questioning the victim's ability to identify the attacker under a balaclava. In addition, Mr Bickle had no visible injuries which might have been caused by being struck by a lamp. Mr Bancroft's lawyer Nick Dore labelled the suggestion his client would shove his young daughter as "ludicrous".
He also said Mr Bancroft had provided police with an alibi - he was watching DVDs and eating pizza with another person at the time of the attack.
Mr Ehrich denied both men bail and remanded them in custody to reappear for mention on July 7.



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