Issued: 17 September 2014
The tragedy this week at Kogarah is devastating and on behalf of the NSW Government I express my sympathy to the family of Aneri Patel.
I am deeply saddened that a young girl simply going about her daily life has become the victim of a tragic crash involving a motor vehicle.
The police investigating this matter have made the decision to grant bail to the alleged driver of the vehicle.
The file remains with the police and will be handed to the Director of Public Prosecutions as it moves from the investigation to the prosecution stage.
I have spoken today to the Director of Public Prosecutions and asked him to ensure that when the police investigations are concluded and the file comes to him that he then applies all necessary resources to this case.
I have also specifically asked him to consider the issues relating to bail, having noted that the police have granted bail.
I am advised that under the previous 1978 Bail Act there was no presumption against bail in these circumstances and that similar issues would have been considered by the police under the new Bail provisions implemented in May this year.
In granting bail, police would have carefully considered whether the release of the defendant would impact on the protection of the community, the probability of the defendant appearing in court, the defendant’s background and community ties, or any previous failures to appear in court.
At this stage whilst it is a difficult and extremely sad event – the police who made the decision to grant bail should be supported in the decision-making process.