Judge’s 2pm ultimatum for Salim
Disgraced businessman Salim Mehajer has missed a scheduled court date after winding up in hospital, with a frustrated judge warning he will issue an arrest warrant if the 33-year-old fails to show up later in the day.
Mehajer was due in Parramatta District Court on Thursday morning to enter a plea on charges he staged a 2017 crash in which his Mercedes AMG collided with another vehicle just before he was meant to appear in court over a taxi driver assault.
But when his matter was called, Mehajer's lawyer, Zali Burrows, told Judge James Bennett her client was receiving medical attention.
"The situation is Mr Mehajer is currently in Fairfield Hospital at the hand clinic," she said, offering Judge Bennett a photo her client had sent her with a cast on his right arm as proof.
A fed up Judge Bennett had no interest in seeing the photo, telling Ms Burrows he had made it clear to Mehajer that he was to be in court.
"I'll stand the matter down until 2pm," he said, adding that Mehajer had better turn up "otherwise I'll issue a warrant for his arrest".
Mehajer's co-accused, Rafi Noori, was present in court and pleaded not guilty to helping stage the crash.
Outside court, Ms Burrows indicated Mehajer also intends to plead not guilty. Mehajer had previously been scheduled to have surgery on his hand on Wednesday.
However, his barrister Dymphna Hawkins said the surgery was cancelled when he failed to see a specialist on Tuesday as he was in court seeking variations to his bail conditions, including permission to have a mobile phone and to use social media, in particular Instagram.
Yesterday Mehajer spent his birthday in court as he appealed the severity of his sentence for negligent driving and contravening an apprehended violence order issued to protect his ex-wife.
The now 33-year-old was slapped with a 12-month community correction order and $650 in fines in Burwood Local Court in February over the offences.
Agreed facts reveal Mehajer pulled up in a white Audi outside his ex-wife Aysha Learmonth's Kingsgrove home after midnight as her friend was waiting to pick her up in November 2017.
When Ms Learmonth left her home and saw the car, she told her friend to leave, and fled back inside to call triple zero because she suspected it was Mehajer.
Her friend drove off, but when she attempted to return, Mehajer used his car to block her path and subsequently the vehicles collided 300 metres from his ex-wife's home.
Four days after he was sentenced earlier this year, Mehajer applied to appeal his penalty on the grounds it was too severe.
The former Auburn deputy mayor on Wednesday appeared in Parramatta District Court where Ms Hawkins, had the appeal hearing adjourned to July 18 so a report could be prepared by a Sydney doctor.
The court heard Mehajer had missed his initial appointment with the doctor - scheduled for June 3 - because he was arrested that day for breaching his local court bail for traffic fraud offences.