Accused fraudster held in custody

A MAN who allegedly ripped off Gympie and Bundaberg businesses for thousands of dollars faced court on 34 fraud charges yesterday.

Steven John Gritt, 41, of Goodwin Street, Bundaberg, told Magistrate Jennifer Batts he wanted to apply for bail.

Duty lawyer Matthew Messenger withdrew his representation of Gritt, who was in custody, but the defendant continued with his own bail application.

“We had discussions and thought it was agreed it was not to be done,” Mr Messenger said.

Gritt also faced court on charges of break and enter, breaching bail, and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Robyn Shapcott told Bundaberg Magistrates Court Gritt was one of the “most significant” flight risks she had seen.

She said he had prior breach of bail and fail-to-appear offences, and 29 prior convictions for dishonesty offences.

Gritt told Ms Batts there had been a threat made on his life.

“Even going into jail I’m a dead man walking because of these people,” he said.

“It would not be safe for me to go back into the Maryborough Correctional Centre.”

The magistrate said those were matters for “other authorities”.

“With this number of significant offences I do accept you are an unacceptable risk of committing further offences,” the magistrate said.

Gritt asked if his matters could be moved to another court.

“These offences largely arise in Bundaberg and you’re not entering pleas of guilty at this stage,” Ms Batts replied.

She adjourned the case until June 18.

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