Bail continued for Woolgoolga man on murder charge

ACCUSED murderer Grant Kelly Connelly had his bail continued by Coffs Harbour Local Court yesterday.

Connelly, 35, of Woolgoolga, who appeared in court, is charged with the murder of his boss, Andrew William Walker, 41, of Moonee Beach.

Detectives initially charged Connelly with maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm following an incident at a work Christmas party at Mr Walker's home at 12.35am on December 18.

But detectives subsequently charged him with murder after Mr Walker died in hospital.

The Department of Public Prosecutions yesterday opposed Connelly's bail continuing.

The court also heard that the Connelly and Walker families lived near each other and Mr Walker's widow feared 'running into' Connelly.

However, Connelly's solicitor, Todd Ritchie, said there were exceptional circumstances which should allow bail to continue, namely a strong self-defence case and that his client 'poses no threat to the community whatsoever'.

It had not been a premeditated attack from Connelly, who had been intoxicated at the time, and no weapon was involved.

"It was a fistfight that went wrong," Mr Ritchie said.

Magistrate Judith Fleming said Connelly, who has been on bail since December 19, had met each condition of his bail and had not interfered with witnesses.

The case was adjourned to April 11 to allow for the completion of a post mortem report and for further examinations by a forensic pathologist.

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