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Celeb crocodile wrangler, former police officer, helicopter pilot faces court docket over deadly crash

Prosecutors within the case towards superstar crocodile wrangler Matt Wright will make an utility to fluctuate his bail situations by “three phrases” on Friday, the Darwin Native Courtroom has heard.

Mr Wright didn’t must attend court docket for Wednesday’s preliminary listening to, when his case was talked about alongside these of former police officer Neil Mellon and helicopter pilot Michael Burbidge.

All three are going through a collection of costs in connection to an investigation right into a helicopter crash in February 2022, that killed Outback Wrangler star Chris “Willow” Wilson.

Mr Wright’s lawyer, Giles O’Brien Hartcher, instructed the court docket an utility could be made later this week to fluctuate the 43-year-old’s bail situations, however didn’t specify what the proposed modifications have been.

Matt Wright arrives at court docket in November final 12 months.(ABC Information: Tiffany Parker)

The court docket heard prosecutors would search to take away “three phrases” from the strict situations binding Mr Wright.

Mr Wright was charged in November 2022 with making an attempt to pervert the course of justice, destruction of proof, fabricating proof, two counts of illegal entry and making a false assertion.

His lawyer has beforehand indicated that he “strenuously denies” any wrongdoing and was not on board the helicopter when it crashed throughout an operation to gather crocodile eggs in a distant a part of Arnhem land.

helicopter crash site
The helicopter was discovered broken and in an upright place.(Provided: Careflight)

The instances towards Mr Wright, Mr Mellon and Mr Burbidge have been adjourned for six weeks after the court docket heard the “pretty in depth” temporary of proof was nonetheless being compiled.

Crown prosecutor Collette Dixon instructed the court docket the investigations have been ongoing, and Mr O’Brien Hartcher mentioned he understood it was doubtless there could be “extra materials coming”.

Mr Wright’s case will return to court docket on Friday for a bail variation utility.

Former police officer seeks return of passport to go on cruise

a middle aged man smiling
Senior NT police officer Neil Mellon has been charged with a number of offences.(equipped)

The court docket heard Mr Mellon, a former senior Northern Territory Police officer additionally charged in connection to the crash, wished to have his passport returned so he might go on a cruise and “discover work alternatives” in Singapore.

Mr Mellon faces costs throughout two separate court docket recordsdata, one in all which is expounded to the crash investigation.

His barrister, Sally Ozolins, made an utility for Mr Mellon’s bail to be assorted to permit him to go on a cruise that was booked in 2020 and delayed a number of occasions on account of COVID-19.

“It is scheduled to go forward in March,” Ms Ozolins mentioned.

“It will be of nice value to the household if that would not go forward.”


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