Patrick Finbar McGarry O’Dea, 64, is one of two Grafton men accused of running a child abduction ring that allegedly helped a mother and a grandparent secretly take children from parents they claimed were abusive.
Mr O’Dea was allowed to have his GPS tracker removed last year after he told the Brisbane Supreme Court ability to work had been hindered by the ankle device because he had to be plugged into a wall for two hours whenever the battery ran low.
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His ban on social media was also relaxed so he could contact friends, families and employees in Zimbabwe.
During a bail variation hearing in the Brisbane Supreme Court this morning, Crown prosecutor Rowan Micairan argued that the 64-year-old should be banned from social media altogether while on bail.
He said the day his bail application was heard Mr O’Dea posted on Facebook that he had to go to court so the “pedo pricks leave the GPS ankle bracelet off”.
Mr Micairan said his “prolific” posts had scorned the court and Mr O’Dea had also shared posts that had accused judges of protecting paedophiles and Federal Police officers of perverting the course of justice.
“He cannot be trusted on social media … he just cannot,” Mr Micairan said.
Mr Micairan also argued that O’Dea, who has been on bail for two years, should be made to wear the GPS tracker again and should continue to report seven days a week because he still holds “animosity” towards a man he allegedly stalked.
Three months before he was charged with conspiracy to defeat justice and child stealing, Mr O’Dea allegedly stalked the father of one of the children he is accused of abducting by driving 300km to stake out his Brisbane home and threatened to “put him in hospital”.
Lawyer Andrew Owens said since his arrest, Mr O’Dea and had made no attempt to contact the father and had complied fully with his strict bail conditions, which included reporting seven days a week for the past eight months.
Mr Owens said Mr O’Dea had strong ties to the Grafton community so would not be a flight risk and the COVID-19 border restrictions would make it difficult for him to travel to Queensland anyway.
The court was told he had reported more than 200 times since December.
“We get armed robbers and alleged murderers who don’t have to report that often,” Justice Peter Applegarth said.
Justice Applegarth removed the condition requiring O’Dea to wear a GPS tracker and reduced the number of days he had to report to four times a week.
But he was reluctant to place a blanket ban on his social media usage.
“Let’s be realistic here,” Justice Applegarth said.
“If he supports the Sydney Swans, he couldn’t go on the Sydney Swans Facebook page and say ‘go the Swannies’ if the Commonwealth had its way. Is this real?” he said.
Mr Owen and Mr Micairan were left to strike a compromise about how to best manage Mr O’Dea’s social media use.
Justice Applegarth said he would likely make an order on that condition by tomorrow.
Originally published as ‘W–kers’: Accused child abductor’s spray on Facebook
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