Bail laws to be monitored after release of Mount Warrigal's Steven Fesus

NSW Attorney General Brad Hazzard says he will be monitoring the new bail laws after the release of a Mount Warrigal man accused of murdering his teenage wife.

Steven Frank Fesus, 42, who is charged with murdering wife Jodie, almost 17 years ago, was granted bail in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.

Fesus is one of the first murder cases to seek bail following the overhaul of the Bail Act in NSW, which means accused criminals can cite a ‘‘change in circumstance’’ which applies a community risk test to determine if they can be released.

Mr Hazzard said on Tuesday the new laws are under constant review by the government.

‘‘The first and primary issue ofcourse is community safety.

‘‘If we do need to make changes to the Act we certainly will. At this point it’s too early to actually make those decisions,’’ he said.

Anti-violence campaigner Ken Marslew from the Enough is Enough said the laws are a cost-cutting measure for the NSW government.

‘‘In saving money they are actually letting of victims of crime down.’’

Fesus is alleged to have murdered 18-year-old mother-of-two Jodie Fesus  in August 1997. Her body was found in a shallow grave at Gerroa a month later.

He wasn’t charged with her killing until last year.

The new legislation, which came into effect two weeks ago, determines whether bail should be granted on the basis of whether the applicant poses an unacceptable risk to the community.

Previously, the decision on whether someone was granted bail was based on the type of offence and the presumption for or against their release.

Fesus has been ordered to report to Wollongong police station twice daily, not to approach prosecution witnesses and to forfeit $1000 if he breaches his bail.

AAP

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