Childers kidnapping trial moved to Brisbane for 'security'
A COURT has ruled Eden James Kane, accused of kidnapping a three-year-old girl from her Childers home in 2014, will be tried in Brisbane rather than in Bundaberg.
At yesterday's pre-trial hearing at the Bundaberg District Court, the defence argued a judge would be better able to objectively consider the expert testimony of four psychiatrists expected to give evidence in relation to Mr Kane's mental capacity at the time of the offending, rather than a jury.
He also asked Judge William Everson to transfer the trial to Brisbane, claiming that due to the nature of the South Isis man's case and the significant public attention the matter had attracted since its inception in 2014, the regional courthouse was not suitable for the trial.
During initial proceedings more than four years ago, an onslaught of verbal abuse was hurled at Kane as he entered the court. It is understood the hostility came from supporters of the alleged victim's family.
Referring to the limited space inside the Bundaberg Courthouse and how far from the police station it is, Judge Everson said it would be difficult to ensure the necessary level of security would be present during the upcoming trial.
"The only matter which really concerns me is the presumption that trials should ordinarily proceed in the district where the alleged offence has occurred, however ... the facilities at the Bundaberg Courthouse are rudimentary by modern standards to say the least," he said.
"There is a relatively small area where the jury panel, members of the public and the defendant all enter and possibly congregate ... the court itself is dated."
The matter's slow progression can be attributed to Mr Kane's legal counsel attempting to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial.
Judge Everson said he accepted "the abduction of a three-year-old girl from a family home while she is sleeping at night may well be described as every parent's worst nightmare", but argued it was not "that category of offending which of itself warrants the making of a no jury order".
He pointed out a number of other serious types of offending, like the sexual abuse or torture of a child, which typically do not go before a judge, and refused the defence's application to make a no jury order.
"Obviously there will be considerable community outrage when this matter is tried, however, I am confident ... the interests of justice will not require a no jury order," he said.
"The only issue with the trial is whether he was suffering unsoundness of mind at the time of the offending."
He ordered the matter be transferred to Brisbane immediately.
A trial date has yet to be set.