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Adelaide bikie gang boss Vince Focarelli has mental health issues as a result of being held in appalling circumstances and being refused permission to attend his murdered son's funeral

Monday, 23 April 2012

Adelaide bikie gang boss Vince Focarelli has mental health issues as a result of being held in appalling circumstances and being refused permission to attend his murdered son's funeral, his lawyer says. Focarelli, 37, is confined to a cell 23 hours a day in a maximum security prison wing, on remand for bail breaches and alleged drug offences despite the presumption of innocence, his lawyer David Edwardson, QC, says. Mr Edwardson said Focarelli had been in custody for two months but his lawyers had received "not a single piece of paper" in support of the charges that were laid against his client as he lay in hospital in February, recovering from gunshot wounds he received in an ambush that killed his son, Giovanni, 22. Giovanni last month had a big, teary send-off from family, friends, bikies and hundreds of regulars at Friday prayers at his local mosque. Focarelli was denied bail because of authorities' concerns about the risk of attacks that could put the public and him at risk. Focarelli was also shot in December and before that was the target of a failed bomb attack by two men linked to the Hells Angels - both of whom died when the bomb exploded early. In court on Friday, Mr Edwardson asked magistrate Paul Foley to order two reports ahead of a fresh bail application. He sought one report into Focarelli's mental health and one into the circumstances of his detention. "It is, quite frankly, appalling," Mr Edwardson said. Mr Edwardson said Focarelli was allowed only three supervised, 25-minute visits a week, making it impossible to have legally privileged conversations. Mr Foley said the circumstances for refusing bail in the first place had not changed. He said he would not order the reports or hear a bail application. Police allegedly found 413 grams of the liquid drug butanediol in Focarelli's car after he and Giovanni were shot. They arrested him in hospital, where he stayed for four weeks until he was moved to Yatala prison. Focarelli refused to cooperate with police investigating the shooting and, before his hospital arrest, had spurned offers of police protection.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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