Salim Mehajer leaves prison in handcuffs to face court
SALIM Mehajer has been given a short break from his maximum security jail cell in protective custody to face court over a breached apprehended violence order (AVO) and dangerous driving charge.
Mehajer, 32, was this morning led out of Sydney's Silverwater Prison, in handcuffs, and transported in a police van to Burwood Local Court.
He entered the dock flanked by police, wearing his trademark blue suit and tie, to appear before magistrate Mark Richardson.
The matter was ultimately adjourned until February 25 - because of a large number of witnesses, 35, to testify in the case - for a five-day hearing. The disgraced property developer was initially taken into custody accused of contravening the AVO - which prevents him from contacting his ex-wife Aysha Learmonth - by posting a video in which he pointed to a photo of her and said "R. I. P".
Mehajer is also accused of dangerous driving offences and breaching his bail on allegations he staged a car crash to avoid court last year.
In May this year, magistrate Jacqueline Trad recorded a conviction and imposed an 18-month good behaviour bond on Mehajer for the AVO breach. He vowed to appeal the conviction.
Meanwhile, the former Auburn deputy mayor will remain in custody.
The court previously heard Mehajer was placed "in restrictive custodial conditions" after authorities received "intelligence" about a $250,000 bounty put out on his life over alleged underworld debts.
A Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) spokeswoman would not confirm or deny the claims, citing privacy reasons, when contacted by news.com.au.
The prison is the largest in the state and has held most of the country's worst killers, rapists, crooked politicians, bikie gang kingpins, and paedophiles, at one stage or another.
A CSNSW spokeswoman told news.com.au that lock-in at Silverwater's Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre (MRRC) - a maximum-security facility for male inmates where Mehajer is being held - is about 2pm. But threats and random explosions of expletives from the inmates reportedly continue for several hours, broken up by a call for help.
"All offenders coming into the MRRC must go through the Darcy pod for assessment and placement, so it houses a mix of mainstream, new reception, segregation, mental health and protection inmates," the CSNSW spokeswoman told news.com.au.
"All cells at MRRC have the appropriate facilities for inmates."
Inside the protective cells at the complex, are metal bunks, a shower, and a toilet with a bare porcelain rim for a seat.
Dr John Rynne, senior lecturer at Griffith University's School of Criminology and Social Justice, previously told news.com.au, "prisoners call (protection) the bone yard".
"[It's] because that's where dogs are, and the worst thing you can be known as in prison is a dog," he said.
There is no privilege yet for such mod-cons as television, or radio. That has to be earned.
Everything is audible; every conversation, every threat, bouncing off the concrete walls and through the open-air window slots that turn the cells stifling in the heat, The Daily Telegraph reported.