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Internet ban for bailed deception accused

A Mooroopna man accused of committing multiple deceptions and attempted deceptions through online buying-selling site Gumtree has been released from custody, but banned from accessing the internet.

DARREN LINTON March 20, 2014 5:16am

A Mooroopna man accused of committing multiple deceptions and attempted deceptions through online buying-selling site Gumtree has been released from custody, but banned from accessing the internet.

Paul Joseph Guzzardi, 38, of Elizabeth St, is facing 69 charges, but the investigation is ongoing and lawyer Emma King said more charges were likely to follow.

Ms King told a bail hearing at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday because the investigation was still unfolding, the delay in the case was a factor in considering bail.

She said her client had detoxed from drugs during 34 days in custody on remand and had also taken steps to engage with treatment, which would be ongoing should he be released. Police prosecutor Senior Constable Chris Cole said police opposed bail because of the risk of reoffending.

Ms King said the risk could be reduced by the imposition of bail conditions and Magistrate Ian Watkins agreed.

‘‘In my view, Mr Guzzardi is clearly a risk of reoffending, but that risk can be reduced and I propose to grant bail,’’ he said.

As a condition of bail, Mr Guzzardi cannot access the internet, possess a phone, tablet or other device that is capable of accessing the internet, or use anyone else’s device to do so.

As a further precaution, he is also prohibited from opening any new bank account or sports betting account.

He must also report to police three times a week, not use drugs and engage with treatment programs.

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