Man denied bail over alleged murder of 74-year-old Michael Thomas Chesworth

Nov 10, 2023
A man accused of murdering 74-year-old Michael Chesworth has been refused bail. Source: Getty Images

The man accused of murdering a 74-year-old man in Yeronga last month has been refused bail after a court hearing yesterday.

Early last month, Raymond John Binge was arrested and charged with the murder of Michael Thomas Chesworth after an altercation over cigarettes.

Police have said that said Mr Chesworth and the accused were not known to each other.

Mr Chesworth resided in a unit complex on School Road in Yeronga, Brisbane along with his wife. Binge did not live at the complex. He was believed to be visiting a friend’s unit who lived in the same complex, where he was later found after the incident.

In the time leading up to the incident, Binge had been knocking on the doors of other units asking for items. According to the Brisbane Times, he was also heavily intoxicated.

“We will allege that [the] 49-year-old man knocked on the door of the 74-year-old now deceased man’s unit,” Detective Superintendent Andrew Massingham said, speaking to the ABC.

“At that time, the deceased man was present with his partner enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon. We allege that he answered the door, and within a very short period of time there was a disagreement between the two men

“During the course of that disagreement, we allege the 49-year-old man physically picked up the deceased and threw him over the railing,” he explained.

Mr Chesworth fell 3.5 m and suffered fatal head injuries.

Prosecutor Emily McGregor confirmed previous reports that the disagreement occurred over cigarettes.

“The motivation appears to be frustration at not having a cigarette combined with the applicant’s own intoxication,” McGregor said.

The court also heard that Binge had allegedly been drinking with other people before going to the nearby unit. Binge’s lawyer, Joshua Jones, submitted during the hearing that his client should be released on bail under strict conditions.

“If he was incalcitrant towards police, if he consumed alcohol … he would very quickly be returned to custody,” Mr Jones said.

Jones said his client was “largely homeless” but would have strong support from family and reside with his mother if released on bail.

The prosecution however submitted that bail should not be granted because Binge posed an unacceptable risk towards the community. The presiding judge, Justice Paul Freeburn, appeared to agree with the prosecution.

“The court cannot be confident Binge would comply with any bail conditions that might be imposed,” he said.

Bing will be remanded in custody pending another hearing in December.

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