Australian pop idol Guy Sebastian’s former manager is being visited multiple times a week, sometimes in the late hours of the night, by police as he waits to face a second trial over allegations he embezzled the singer’s earnings.
Titus Emanuel Day was jailed for at least 2½ years in November 2022 after a jury found him guilty of 34 of 47 fraud-related charges, including embezzling more than $620,000.
Mr Day was also ordered to pay the vast sum back to Mr Sebastian but has always maintained his innocence.
He launched an appeal to overturn the charges that was granted in full by the Court of Criminal Appeal in December last year.
Acting Justice Carolyn Simpson ordered for the convictions to be quashed and a new trial to be held.
The matter on Friday returned to the District Court, where defence solicitor Phoebe MacDougall represented Mr Day, who is on bail and did not appear.
Ms MacDougall told the court that her client had been receiving visits three to four times a week by police “sometimes at 11 or 12 at night” at his eastern suburbs home in Sydney.
She told the court that Mr Day’s bail had been varied to remove the curfew condition and he shouldn’t be receiving visits from police.
Judge Timothy Gartelmann confirmed the changes to bail and asked the DPP to advise police to stop the visits.
The matter was adjourned until February 15.
Lawyer Bret Walker SC previously told the court that the appeal was based on three grounds, with the first alone acquitting Mr Day if it succeeded in the Court of Appeal.
Mr Walker argued Mr Day was not the pop singer’s clerk, as he had a contract with Mr Day’s management company Six Degrees prior to the pair’s falling out.
The second ground related to whether the Crown’s closing address caused a miscarriage of justice because the prosecutor referred to Mr Day refusing to give evidence, reversing the onus of proof.
In their remarks, the Crown emphasised Mr Day’s failure to give evidence despite the defence deciding not to call Mr Day to testify during the trial.
The third ground for appeal related to whether the jury reached a verdict following undue pressure from a fellow juror, who had an upcoming overseas holiday.
The length of the trial was extended by a fortnight due to unforeseen circumstances, including the death of the initial trial judge and Mr Sebastian getting Covid-19.
The jury heard a mountain of evidence during the trial, including from Mr Sebastian, his wife Jules, bookkeepers and the police officer in charge of the investigation.
Mr Day became Mr Sebastian’s manager in 2009, but the pair had a bitter falling out in 2017 after which the pop star claimed he found anomalies in his financial records.
He subsequently launched legal action against his former manager to recoup the money he claimed he was owed by Mr Day, whose company represented high-profile clients.
Mr Day responded with a counterclaim, alleging it was he who was owed money by Mr Sebastian – a claim the judge on reality TV show X-Factor vehemently denied.
Both men continued to argue the other owed them money throughout the heated trial in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court late last year.
The jury found Mr Day had used some of the money owed to Mr Sebastian – including about $187,000 from a Taylor Swift support act gig – to purchase shares on his behalf in a company called My Medical Records.