Walcha murder: Natasha Beth Darcy's new bail application adjourned, charged with murdering Mathew Dunbar near Walcha

Bail bid: Natasha Beth Darcy-Crossman, 42, is charged with murdering Mathew Dunbar, inset, on August 2, at Walcha. Police are pictured searching the property in November following her arrest. Photos: Gareth Gardner, supplied
Bail bid: Natasha Beth Darcy-Crossman, 42, is charged with murdering Mathew Dunbar, inset, on August 2, at Walcha. Police are pictured searching the property in November following her arrest. Photos: Gareth Gardner, supplied

A WOMAN charged with murdering her de-facto partner on a Walcha property has lodged another bid to be released from custody.

Technical problems with the video link meant Natasha Beth Darcy, also known as Darcy-Crossman, did not appear on the screen in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday, from Mary Wade Correctional Centre where she is being held.

She was refused bail in September in the same court but her barrister Tracey Randall said there was a new bail review application because there had been a change in circumstances.

Ms Randall told the court this included “an address that will take her away from the area, in Wollongong and funding of an ankle bracelet or electronic monitoring”.

DPP solicitor Ellen Tiedeman said “there is some ground we need to cover” before they were ready to hear the bail bid.

“We were given very late notice of this application,” she said.

Darcy, 42, is yet to enter a plea to the charge of murdering Walcha grazier Mathew Dunbar on August 1 last year on his property Pandora, outside of Walcha.

Magistrate Julie Soars said the DPP was entitled to sufficient notice to review the proposed bail application, and adjourned it for two weeks.

“For today’s purposes, I’ll mark her as ‘bail not applied for – refused’,” she said.

Ms Randall asked for a Section 91 timetable, signalling the defence wanted to cross-examine witnesses whom the Crown would rely on to be used as “tendency” to prove the murder at trial.

“In my submission, and I think the Crown would agree, the tendency evidence is almost the most compelling evidence in the case,” she said.

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She said the tendency “as I understand, will go beyond the conviction to which Ms Darcy received” for a property offence.

“My understanding is they will rely on that to prove injury,” she said, telling the court “in effect it will be two trials, a trial within a trial”.

No bail: Natasha Beth Darcy-Crossman, 42, inset, is charged with murdering Mathew Dunbar on August 2, at Walcha. Police are pictured searching the property in November following her arrest. Photos: Gareth Gardner, supplied

No bail: Natasha Beth Darcy-Crossman, 42, inset, is charged with murdering Mathew Dunbar on August 2, at Walcha. Police are pictured searching the property in November following her arrest. Photos: Gareth Gardner, supplied

The court heard the full police brief had been served but Ms Randall wanted to know which witnesses the Crown would rely on for tendency, so she could cross-examine them, sort out the issues for the trial, and save the court time.

“I’m just loath to make a Section 91 application on the current tendency brief served,” she said.

“Clearly not all that material was the subject of the conviction of Ms Darcy.”

The Crown asked for a timetable, but Ms Soars said the two-and-a-half-month time limit for the Crown to compile its submissions was too long.

“I need to take into account Ms Darcy is in custody, bail refused,” Ms Soars said.

She ordered the Crown to file its tendency notice before Christmas, with the defence to reply in February. The hearing on the application to call witnesses at a committal hearing will be heard in March.

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