Bendigo gang-rape accused denied bail

One of three men charged with the gang rape of a Bendigo woman in January last year has had his application for bail refused.

Mohammad Zaoli, 21, appeared in the Victorian County Court yesterday where Judge Bill Stuart ruled he must stay in police custody until the trial begins on January 29 next year.

Police allege Zaoli, along with two co-accused Mohammed Elnour, 19, and Akoak Manon, 19, raped the 21-year-old mother in her Flora Hill home while two children slept in an adjacent room.Manon and Zaoli face 17 charges – 14 counts of rape and single counts of indecent assault, unlawful assault and false imprisonment.

Elnour faces these 17 charges as well as charges of using a carriage service to harass and harassing a witness. 

All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

While his two co-accused are on bail, Zaoli has been in custody since March when he was arrested at the scene of an affray with two machetes. At a previous bail hearing, the court heard Zaoli had broken his bail twice prior to this as well.

Police informant Chris Reed said the first occasion involved “family violence matters” in May last year when police were called to a dispute between Zaoli and his cousin. 

Zaoli was charged with intentionally causing injury and making threats to kill. The matter was dealt with in the Shepparton Magistrates Court and Zaoli was placed on a community corrections order.

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