A “decorated” former soldier accused of murdering his wife on the southern Australian Yorke Peninsula has been released on bail, despite prosecutors telling the court that the Afghanistan veteran had a history of domestic violence and posed a risk to society .
- Cherry Gerente Ogar died of head injuries with blunt force
- Her husband, Antony Ogar, is charged with the murder of her
- He has received bail at home
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Antony Ogar, 58, is accused of murdering 37-year-old Cherry Gerente Ogar at their home in Port Hughes last July.
Ogar died of head injuries with blunt force, which the court has previously heard were some of the worst emergency services ever seen.
Ogar’s lawyer Martin Anders told Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday that his client – “a decorated member of the Australian Armed Forces” – should be granted bail at home because he acted in self-defense and wanted to defend the charge of murder.
“[Ms Ogar] was drunk, she fell, he helped her to bed, he then contacts triple-0, he follows her to the Wallaroo hospital, and he is actually sitting in the waiting room when he was arrested, “Anders Anders told the court.
“That’s the extent of it,” Mr Anders said.
“No weapon is alleged to have been found.”
Anders said that his client had cooperated with the police and “provided detailed and comprehensive narratives, and they are entirely consistent with his innocence”.
Anders told the court that his client’s “excellent career” in the military – including deployments in New Zealand, Cambodia, Somali, East Timor and Afghanistan – made him a good candidate for home detention.
“We say there is no risk of interfering in the investigation process,” Anders said.
“He has a distinguished career, during his career with the Armed Forces he has been involved in a number of deployments and received a number of military declarations and medals.
“He was a specialized combat soldier, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1987, only 24 years old, sergeant in 1992 … and in the end he achieved rank as a warrant officer, which of course is the highest rank a soldier can achieve.
“We say that his distinguished military career is of great relevance to the assessment of his ability to comply with strict conditions of bail in the home; he has shown that he is responsive to surveillance and can obey the instructions.”
But prosecutor Kirby Draper opposed bail and told the court that Mr Ogar had a history of domestic violence and an anger management problem that could endanger society.
“It appears from no less than 14 statements from civilians that the defendant has an uncontrolled anger problem,” she said in court.
“There’s a serious verbal abuse … he’s going to Service SA, he’s gone to the bottle shop, the landlord.
“We also have a statement from a former partner that there is serious domestic violence.”
The court heard that none of these allegations had resulted in police action, and his only previous conviction was related to offensive language in 1998.
Magistrate Simon Smart granted Mr Ogar’s release on bail in the home, saying it was “appropriate” with strict conditions, including that he be banned from drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs, and that he stay on the property alone.