Alleged kidnapper of impaired woman bailed

·2-min read

A man who allegedly kidnapped a woman with an intellectual disability has been granted bail after he was effectively "abandoned in jail," a NSW judge has said.

James Peter Ryall has been held in custody since his arrest in October 2020 with ongoing issues resulting from his own intellectual and physical disabilities.

Justice Peter Garling acknowledged the charges against him were very serious, but granted him bail following reports that his mental and physical impairments would make preparing for a trial from jail difficult.

"This man who had difficulties that were at least obvious to police officers has been abandoned in jail," Justice Garling said in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday.

He said it was "odd" that criminal defence lawyers or custodial authorities would not have these health issues adequately investigated, given it may affect his fitness to give instructions or stand trial.

The 37-year-old is unable to read and write and also suffers from vision impairment but has been waiting for some months in prison to be given glasses.

Ryall has been charged with a number of offences including kidnapping, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and robbery, all in company.

The alleged incidents against his former partner occurred over two days in October 2020, in the NSW towns of Springfield and Charlestown when Ryall was on bail for another matter.

A forensic psychiatrist's report suggested the charges may have arisen from his vulnerable and impressionable state being exploited by antisocial peers.

Justice Garling said while the Crown case was strong in parts, he was not convinced Ryall's role was as serious as his co-offenders.

Ryall's strict bail conditions include living at a South Golden Beach address in northern NSW, which is far away from his alleged victim, and not leaving the address between the curfew hours of 8pm to 6am, unless accompanied by his father.