A Wollongong magistrate has refused bail to a man accused of domestic violence crimes, finding there remains a case for him to answer, despite attempts by his alleged victim to retract her original statement.
William Stephenson is accused of surprising the woman at her Wollongong home the night of July 8, appearing as a hand through her barred window, holding what appeared to be a gun.
He allegedly pushed her off her feet, causing red marks to her neck and shoulders, when she went outside to calm his yelling and screaming in a later stage of the reported conflict.
Stephenson was arrested soon afterward, when police allegedly found a dark pistol-shaped cigarette lighter in his bum bag.
Stephenson has pleaded not guilty to charges of common assault, stalk/intimidate and damage property. The property charge relates to allegations he repeatedly "spat large mouthfuls of saliva" once in a police holding cell, which then needed professional cleaning.
He has been remanded in Parklea Correctional Centre as he awaits a hearing in January.
On Monday defence solicitor Mr Dion pushed for Stephenson's release on bail, arguing a COVID-19 outbreak at the jail was creating overly onerous conditions for the 33-year-old.
"It's an extended period of isolation he's been held on. He's been previously diagnosed with depression and been unable to receive and therefore take his medication," he said.
The court heard Stephenson's alleged victim had since made a statement at odds with the original complaint to police, now claiming Stephenson "never hurt her or put her in harm's way".
"I'd suggest that significantly weakens the prosecution case," Mr Dion said.
But police prosecutor Sean Thackray told the court the concerns raised by the inconsistent reports would be "easily overcome" at hearing.
"A statement against an initial complaint does raise a hurdle for the prosecution to get over," he said.
"[But] her injuries are consistent with the allegations provided contemporaneously in the [police interview]."
The court heard Stephenson was on parole for reckless wounding on July 8, and he had previously served a significant jail sentence for contravening an AVO.
Sgt Thackray said Stephenson's release would pose a potential threat to community safety, and to the safety of his alleged victim.
"There's a pattern. He gets charged, spends significant time in custody, gets released then, when he's on parole, he reoffends," he said.
"Now he's facing a serious allegation of violence whilst he's on parole."
Magistrate Claire Girotto found the case against Stephenson was "not weak".
"Just because a complainant is going to say something else happened, doesn't mean it's not a strong case because there's a lot of objective material that corroborates her initial statement to police," she said.
"There's a lot of corroboration there in terms of her neck [injuries] and the pistol that was [allegedly] found.
"This matter is not a weak case."
The hearing is set to proceed in January.