A NEWCASTLE boxer accused of multiple sexual assault offences “vehemently rejects any wrongdoing” and is being “set-up” by his ex-wives, Newcastle Local Court has heard.
Scott Edwards, 30, was due to defend his NSW welterweight title at Wests City on April 1 this year.
But instead of headlining “Detonation 8”, Mr Edwards – who operates Sapphire Boxing and Fitness in Newcastle – was in jail charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault on a victim under the age of 16 years, an offence which carries a maximum of 20 years in jail.
Mr Edwards appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday via audio visual link from Parklea Correctional Centre, where his solicitor, Chris O’Brien, applied for bail on his behalf.
As well as the sexual assault offences, which are alleged to have occurred during 2012, Mr Edwards was charged on the same day with break-and-enter and installing a listening device, the court heard.
Mr O’Brien said Mr Edwards had given an electronically recorded interview with police where he had denied all allegations.
“He vehemently rejects any wrongdoing and, in fact, in his interview the propositions are put to him simply and he denies them all,” Mr O’Brien told Magistrate Robert Stone.
Mr O’Brien said Mr Edwards suspects he was “set-up” by his former partners, who he said “could have put their heads together” and concocted the allegations.
“Mr Edwards claims that this is just nothing more than the family just trying to get rid of Mr Edwards out of their lives,” Mr O’Brien said.
But Office of the Director of Public Prosecution solicitor Julie Gomez said police recorded a conversation between Mr Edwards and the alleged victim, during which Mr Edwards was allegedly “evasive” and “apologised” for something.
Mr O’Brien said his client had strong ties to the community through his family and his gym and offered up a raft of bail conditions, including a $10,000 surety, reporting to police and a type of chaperone condition, that he said would ameliorate any concerns the court would have about Mr Edwards failing to appear or committing a further offence.
Mr Stone said the conditions proposed by Mr O’Brien could mitigate many of the risks suggested by Ms Gomez. “But ultimately the assessment boils down to the strength of the case,” Mr Stone said.
He described the prosecution case against Mr Edwards as “reasonably strong” and said he had “significant concerns” that the Newcastle boxer “couldn’t remember” certain things during his police interview.
Mr Edwards was refused bail and the matter was adjourned to June 28.