A MAN accused of a violent aggravated burglary in Melbourne says he travelled to Mildura and missed his court dates because his knowledge of a murder put his life at risk, a claim the prosecution dismiss as a “ruse”.
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Gary Knibbs, of Melbourne, was granted bail when he appeared at Mildura Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The court heard Knibbs and his partner left their Melbourne home, despite bail conditions requiring him to live at a static address, and travelled the state in a caravan.

The pair spent time in Mildura and were planning on driving through Hay on the way to Albury before Knibbs was arrested by a NSW police officer on the Silver City Highway.

Knibbs is accused of making a “frenzied attack” at a Melbourne premises in February, confronting the victim – who was know to his partner – with a hammer and squeezing a bottle of unknown liquid at the victim.

The court heard he failed to appear at court twice following the alleged attack, and when police couldn’t find him at home after his second non-appearance, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Giving evidence to the hearing, Knibbs’ partner said they were travelling around in a caravan and not staying at their fixed Melbourne address because of “risks” they felt they were under and a desire to start fresh.

The court heard Knibbs had knowledge about an alleged murder in the UK and claimed to be dealing with the federal police.

But police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Bush put to Knibbs’ partner that the story about knowledge of a murder in the UK was a ruse and they were using it as an excuse to leave.

In granting bail, Magistrate Ross Maxsted said Knibbs could end up staying in custody longer than any prison sentence he might be given if he was remanded in custody.

He granted bail with conditions including a $15,000 surety, for Knibbs to reside at a static address and abide by a curfew.

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