Croc wrangler Matt Wright’s case returns to court

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There was no spectacle outside the Darwin court today, but in a crowded courtroom a well-known name was the center of attention.

The trial for Top End croc wrangler Matt Wright returned to Judge Greg Macdonald nearly two months after the Netflix star first appeared in court in November last year.

There was no sign of Wright, who remains on bail on the Sunshine Coast with his wife and newborn baby.

The trial for Top End croc wrangler Matt Wright returned to Judge Greg Macdonald nearly two months after the Netflix star first appeared in court in November last year.
The trial for Top End croc wrangler Matt Wright returned to Judge Greg Macdonald nearly two months after the Netflix star first appeared in court in November last year. (9News)

The 43-year-old man faces seven charges for what prosecutors say was an attempt to derail an investigation into a fatal accident that killed his friend Chris Wilson while on a trip to harvest crocodile eggs.

Wright has yet to make a plea, although his Sydney-based lawyer, Greg Jones, previously told media that Wright denied any wrongdoing and would fight the charges.

Wright’s co-defendants – helicopter pilot Michael Burbidge and former police officer Neil Mellon – were also represented by their lawyers today, as all three men were excused from appearing in person.

Today’s proceedings should determine whether the case would go to a trial in the Supreme Court.

The 43-year-old man faces seven charges for what prosecutors say was an attempt to derail an investigation into a fatal accident that killed his friend Chris Wilson while on a trip to harvest crocodile eggs.
The 43-year-old man faces seven charges for what prosecutors say was an attempt to derail an investigation into a fatal accident that killed his friend Chris Wilson while on a trip to harvest crocodile eggs. (9News)

Instead, all three cases were postponed for a further six weeks as the ongoing investigation uncovered new evidence.

The prosecution will file a request with the court on Friday to amend Mr Wright’s bail.

Attorney Giles O’Brien Hartcher indicated that the changes would be opposed.

The Deputy Director of the Attorney General’s Office is expected to appear Friday to submit comments to the court on the proposed changes to Wright’s bail conditions.

O’Brien Hartcher made a quick run from court, refusing to answer questions from reporters.

Mellon’s attorney, Sally Ozolins, also requested that her client’s bail be amended to allow him access to his passport.

Ozolins told the court that Mellon was looking for an overseas cruise in March and was also looking at a possible job in Singapore.

She also tried to have Ray Murphy, a Darwin lawyer who deals with legal affairs with Mellon’s wife, Senior Sergeant Sandi Mellon, removed from the do-not-contact list.

The sergeant is also due to appear in court next month after being charged with trespassing and assault.

The cases of Wright, Burbidge and Mr Mellon will go to court on March 8.

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