Attempted murder charges after man 'pushed' from Brisbane balcony

The apartments on Constance Street from which the man fell three stories to the footpath below. Photo: Google. Courtesy: Brisbane Times

Five people have been charged with attempted murder after a Brisbane man was allegedly pushed off his inner-city apartment balcony over a drug debt. 

Mitchell James King, 22, suffered a long list of injuries including a broken jaw and two broken arms in the alleged attack in Bowen Hills on February 24. 

Three men are accused of forcing their way into the victim’s apartment on Constance Street about 2.45pm, before chasing him out to the balcony at the back of the third-storey unit and pushing him over the railing.

All five defendants were due before the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday on attempted murder counts and other charges related to the incident.

The court heard the incident was inspired by 35-year-old Simone Cox, who believed the Mr King had “ripped her off” $3500 relating to drugs and sought help from the others. 

After forcing his way into the man’s apartment, Bradley James Keleher, 35, allegedly grabbed the younger man by his throat and pushed him up against the railing, before two of his co-accused, Matthew James Cox and Michael James Fountain, joined him.

All three pushed him over the balcony, police prosecutor Mark Hughes alleged, where Mr King landed on the concrete on Constance Street below, losing several teeth and suffering a fractured knee, a broken hip and ribs. 

“(The victim) states he arched his back over the railing to such a point that he was swaying over the railing,” Sergeant Hughes told the court.

“(He) stated this pushing by the throat caused him to topple over the balcony railing, and fall three storeys, hit cement on the ground floor, face down.”

Mr King was taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for surgery and not discharged for another week.

Mr Keleher was the first to make his way into the dock on Friday morning, turning away from the public gallery except for the occasional glance to his mother, who was sitting in support. 

Magistrate Paul Kluck repeatedly questioned the strength of the evidence the prosecution was seeking to use to block the defendants’ bids to be set free on bail.

He described the evidence linking Mr Keleher to the incident as “a bit light on” before Sergeant Hughes went into further details about the alleged throat grab.

Similarly, when Ms Cox appeared in the dock, Mr Kluck noted there were “so many questions to ask here”.

He briefly adjourned the matter for Sgt Hughes to find more information to back up his claim Ms Cox had “counselled them in their crime” and that her car was seen leaving the scene.

Mr Keleher’s bail application was denied despite defence solicitor Corey Cullen’s argument he was not a flight risk because he lived with his nurse mother and her doctor husband. 

His mother did not comment as she left court with Mr Cullen.

Mr Cox, Mr Fountain and a fifth defendant, Rikki Dean Page, 38, were yet to appear before the court.

All five face charges of attempted murder, acts intended to maim, disfigure or disable, enter dwelling with intent, grievous bodily harm and deprivation of liberty. 

Sourcehttps://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/attempted-murder-charges-after-man-pushed-from-brisbane-balcony-20180316-p4z4mw.html