Fence builder on fraud charges is successful in bail bid
A FENCE builder subject to strong warnings in two states has started a new bail application in Ipswich Magistrates Court so he can fight $30,000 in fraud charges.
Matthew Geoffrey Rixon, 36, from Southport, is charged with 11 fraud related offences in Queensland.
The court heard he was willing to wear a GPS tracking device and restrict himself to the Southport area if allowed bail.
He also agreed to have no involvement in construction or fence building.
Although only limited details were given during his part-heard bail application, Rixon is accused of committing frauds involving about $30,000 as a result of being contracted to build fences in various regions of Queensland.
The fraud charges before the Ipswich court include allegations of work he did or had been paid to do, between May 28, 2020 and June 20, 2020 at Nikenbah (on the Fraser Coast) and at Urungan.
Charges also involved fence work at Virginia, Cannon Hill and Marsden between October and December last year.
The Queensland building industry watchdog, QBCC, last year issued a public warning about the unlicensed fencer following complaints from the Maryborough region.
When his bail application went before Ipswich Magistrate Donna MacCallum on Thursday, the court heard Rixon, previously from Kirribilli in Sydney, failed to meet his NSW bail obligations.
Prosecutor Sergeant Trent Voigt said police opposed bail.
Defence lawyer Andrew Owens sought bail on the basis there was a significant change in Rixon's circumstances.
Mr Owens cited the COVID-19 jail lockdown.
Mr Owens said Rixon had now spent one month held in jail and faces 20 charges, which he would defend.
Sgt Voigt said text messages in one case indicated some work was done but not completed.
Some cases allege either no work or minimal work was carried out.
Sgt Voigt said Rixon had bail on a Commonwealth charge where he is accused of setting up false company names which could show a pattern of deceptive behaviour.
Sgt Voigt said Rixon received NSW bail back in February 2018 to live at Kirribilli and report daily to North Sydney police.
He apparently left Sydney and came to Queensland where the offences were allegedly committed while on bail.
Mr Owens said it was accepted that one case involved $20,000 with Rixon accused of accepting deposits but not doing the work.
"Maybe he put himself in that situation. Maybe he has terrible business acumen," he said.
Magistrate MacCallum said Rixon had served 25 days held in jail as a result of being refused bail previously.
Ms MacCallum said NSW had also lodged a detention application to revoke Rixon's bail there.
Ms MacCallum said she needed time to consider all material before the court.
His bail application was adjourned as part-heard, to be finalised on January 20.
Rixon was remanded in custody.
UPDATE. Bail approved.
When the part-heard bail application returned to court Rixon was granted bail with strict conditions imposed.
This includes residential, reporting to police, and being fitted with a GPS tracking device.