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Bail, after being ‘robbed whilst in jail’

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The house in Love Close which is the centre of neighbourly disputes and Council orders to clean up. Photo – Helen Tatchell

By Meg Kennedy

A well-known Bacchus Marsh neighbour has reappeared in the Magistrates’ Court, this time in custody.
The years-long battle between Love Close resident Godwin Aquilina and Moorabool Shire Council continued last week, following Aquilina’s appearance via video link from the Remand Centre in Ravenhall before Magistrate Letizia Torres in Ballarat on Wednesday, 14 August.
Although currently in custody for allegedly ramming two cars and chasing passengers back in June, Aquilina appeared regarding a number of criminal and council matters.
His appearance may have been brief, but Aquilina loudly asked why a Moorabool Shire Council staff member “robbed my house on 29 July unlawfully, without a court order, while I was in jail”, and proclaimed that he would contest all matters against him.
“I would really like to be out of jail…Council have come down to my property, belittled me and illegally entered my property…I don’t even know what’s left of [it].” Aquilina told the court.
The 54-year old, who suffers from an acquired brain injury, questioned why he wasn’t sent to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for treatment if he was “deranged”.
Aquilina also claimed that Moorabool Shire Councillor Tonia Dudzik “has viciously come after” him, after Ms Dudzik successfully sought an interim intervention order against the accused last year.
Magistrate Torres attempted to calm down Aquilina’s grievances, replying that she “doesn’t even know who Tonia is” and that she couldn’t “do anything about the things you’re telling me”.
“That’s a shame,” said Aquilina.
“It is,” replied Magistrate Torres.
Magistrate Torres gave Aquilina the opportunity to apply for bail, which was later granted for only the matters that were before her.
Conditions of his bail include – “not to contact witnesses for the prosecution other than the informant, and not to commit prohibited behaviour towards the protected person.”
Godwin Aquilina last appeared in the Bacchus Marsh Magistrates’ Court in June, following his failure to remove rubbish dumped outside his property at the request of Moorabool Shire Council.
Aquilina’s prior court appearances in Bacchus Marsh have included matters such as stripping down to his underwear at a Council meeting and for using an amplified megaphone in the early hours of the morning.
He is perhaps infamous for fighting to keep his ram, Jackie Chan, which he travelled to Parliament House in Canberra with in 2016, after Council threatened to remove the ram from Aquilina’s care due to complaints it had attacked residents and was dangerous.
Aquilina’s case was adjourned, and he is set to reappear in court on Wednesday, 25 September.