Mangerton bashing accused James Willingale granted bail

Two men involved in a brawl near Tony’s Chicken Shop at Mangerton on Wednesday morning were former friends who’d had a recent falling out, a court has heard.

James Willingale, 33, is accused of hitting his one-time mate Neville Bauer in the head with a large wooden stick during a confrontation on Myuna Way around 10.30am.

Mr Bauer was left with a three centimetre cut on his forehead and a broken nose following the ordeal.

Willingale, who told police he was a professional fighter at gyms in the Illawarra, was charged with being armed with intent and reckless wounding.

He was granted conditional bail in Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Court documents reveal the friendship between the two men had soured recently, culminating in an “incident” occurring at Mr Bauer’s Myuna Way unit on Tuesday evening.

Neither men would give police details of the incident, however Mr Bauer claimed it involved him being “disrespected” by Willingale.

Willingale returned to his own unit, also on Myuna Way, that evening.

Mr Bauer was walking past Willingale’s home with his dog the following morning when the two men got into an argument, allegedly prompting Willingale to start throwing empty beer bottles and dinner plates at Mr Bauer.

Mr Bauer in return allegedly threw rocks at Willingale’s unit.

Willingale walked out of his unit and confronted Mr Bauer and the pair began to brawl in the middle of Mangerton Road, police said.

It is alleged Willingale hit Mr Bauer in the head with the wooden stick and punched him several times in the head.

The pair was eventually separated and Willingale fled.

He was later arrested by police inside his unit.

Mr Bauer was taken to hospital for treatment.

Police recovered the wooden stick at the scene.  Blood droplets were visible on the roadside and a nearby parked car.

In court, defence lawyer Stewart Holt said Willingale disagreed with the police version of events.

As part of his bail conditions, Willingale has been banned from contacting or going near Mr Bauer and must report to police each week. The case will return to court in August.