A jury trial has started in Orange District Court this week regarding three break and enters involving a man disguised in a black mask and cape.
Paul William Mooney, formerly of Byng Street, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he broke into the Orange Ex-Services' Country Club, Ashcroft's Supa IGA in Peisley Street, and the Victoria Hotel in 2019.
Barrister Philip Swaine is defending Mr Mooney and will make his case after the prosecution.
"It's not in dispute that these offences actually occurred," Mr Swaine told the jury in a summary at the start. "What is in dispute is that Mr Mooney committed the break and enters."
"He says he did not commit the offences."
Judge Graham Turnbull also reminded the jury that "emotion has no role to play".
The prosecution is seeking to prove that Mr Mooney broke into the Orange Ex-Services' Country Club on June 29, 2019, and failed in an attempt to steal a membership login machine believing it was an ATM.
The prosecution alleges Mr Mooney committed a break and enter at Ashcroft's IGA in the early hours of July 12 and 13, 2019, when a man was captured on CCTV attempting to break into an ATM but failed and fled when an employee arrived to start their shift.
Mr Mooney is also denying he was the man who broke into the Victoria Hotel on Bathurst Road on July 20, 2019, and confronted a cleaner with a gun and knife before tying the cleaner's hands and feet with tape in the men's toilet. While the cleaner was tied up, the masked man attempted to get money from poker machines and an ATM before cutting the cleaner free, nicking one of the cleaner's wrists in the process, and leaving with $300 in cash that had been behind the bar.
CCTV footage from each location captured a man wearing a distinctive black cape and black mask and no DNA or fingerprint evidence has been produced.
Mr Mooney was 50 when he was arrested and charged with the offences in September 2019, and he was still in police custody for the district court trial that began on Tuesday.
So far the prosecution has shown CCTV footage and video from police search warrants, played audio from the cleaner's 000 calls and questioned multiple staff from each business, including the cleaner who recounted his experience.
The prosecution case will continue when the trial resumes next week.
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