Tattooist allowed bail on arson, assault charges
TATTOOIST and street artist Oliver ‘Sudsy’ Walker has been granted bail after spending a week in the police watch-house on a charge of attempted arson.
In a bail application heard by Ipswich Magistrate Donna MacCallum on Friday, the court heard Walker had not been positively identified as the intruder found at a Booval house with a can of fuel.
The intruder is also alleged to have assaulted a man aged over 60.
Oliver Ryan Walker, 44, from Raceview, is charged with the attempted arson at Bergin St, Booval on Thursday, August 13; serious assault of a male aged over 60 on the same date; and entering premises with intent.
The businessman is better known in Ipswich as ‘Uncle Sudsy’ and has indicated he will defend the charges.
Prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said police opposed bail.
Ms MacCallum read detailed written submissions from both police and defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough.
She said the allegations involve a person being found at 4.30am under a Booval house.
A male resident saw an outdoor sensor light on and heard a clanking sound and went to investigate while carrying an aluminium baseball bat.
Ms MacCallum said he saw a male under the house with a fuel can and yelled “what are you doing. Get out of there”.
The male intruder was seen to crouch outside the locked bedroom door of a room, which was usually occupied by the man’s adult son.
The intruder is then alleged to have swung a wrecking bar at the complainant.
“He swung the wrecking bar at me. I blocked it with the baseball bat. He hit me on the side of the head,” Ms MacCallum read from the victim’s police statement.
“He came at me carrying the fuel can, swinging.”
The man alleged he was then pushed or tripped onto his back with the male intruder on top of him trying to hit him with the fuel can.
Ms MacCallum said the suspect was then alleged to have lit a fire.
The man wore a white mask and was not able to be positively identified.
“He made the comment that he thought the male had the physical characteristics of a person he knows as Sudsy, who was a friend of his son and there had been a falling out,” Ms MacCallum said.
She said police seized a white mask, black jumper and black jeans, which were yet to be forensically analysed for DNA.
Ms MacCallum said police also allege a text was sent by the complainant’s partner, to the complainant, later that day about blood being found in her car, a red smear on the door, and that there was also “a smell of turps”.
When questioned about a burn that was seen on his arm, Walker attributed it to being an oil burn.
The court heard Walker’s partner later told police she saw him at 5.45am walking in the backyard with a bucket which held something burning, and she saw flames.
“She said it was a smell she had not smelled before,” Ms MacCallum said while reading the statement.
“She did not speak of any injury observed on Mr Walker at the time.
“She gave evidence that he uses turpentine for his work.”
Ms MacCallum said there was nothing compelling before the court at this time that would more closely link Walker and he was entitled to bail.
He was granted bail and ordered not to have contact with the complainant or his son, or go within 100m of their Booval home.
The case will return to court for mention on September 9.