Violent armed robbery at the Central Lane Hotel on Monday. Police courtesy of Central Lane Hotel.
Violent armed robbery at the Central Lane Hotel on Monday. Police courtesy of Central Lane Hotel. Declan Cooley

Bail refused for man on Central Lane axe robbery arrest

ACCUSED of being one of two bandits who violently robbed the Central Lane Hotel, Ashley James Akuhata Martin told Gladstone magistrates court yesterday it "hurt him to tears" to watch the CCTV footage of two female bar managers he knew getting kneed in the head.

Martin, 27, was arrested by Gladstone CIB officers on Thursday last week and was charged with armed robbery with violence when in company at 1.30am on May 2; and enter premises with intent; Martin is also charged with drug offences involving ice, including the supply of dangerous drugs methylamphetamine on May 5; possession of drug utensils; and possession of property suspected of being acquired for a drug offence.

Tall and broad shouldered, Martin appeared before magistrate Mark Morrow in what was a rather lengthy bail application.

Entering the dock in handcuffs and choosing not to heed magistrates Morrow's generous warnings, Martin applied for bail without any legal help.

"If you don't know what you're doing I would suggest you don't go ahead with it," Mr Morrow said.

He was given 20 minutes to phone his solicitor.

Re-entering the court and standing hunched and dressed in a white Stussy singlet, Martin said he sought bail so he could prove his innocence and take up a new job in Brisbane starting next Monday.

"I'll be doing everything in my power to help find the people who did this," Martin said.

"It hurt me to tears to see [the victims] getting hurt…it's heartbreaking."

Police prosecutor Gavin Reece opposed Martin's application for bail due to the seriousness of the assault and the fact Martin was positively identified by two witnesses.

Martin said he was "quite confidant" he could prove he was not the armed attacker and if released on bail, could source CCTV proving his whereabouts.

"Let's get blunt about it," Mr Morrow said.

"You've been positively identified by the two girls involved in the matter.

"A witness says she located your Facebook account and immediately recognised you as the person holding the axe," he said.

Mr Morrow said this was strong evidence and refused Martin's bail application.

Martin was remanded in custody and is due to appear in court on July 11.

On Thursday Martin was picked up at an address on Yarroon St, only 100 metres away from the Central Lane Hotel, and a place where, owner Rick Adams, said the man often frequented.

Police investigations are continuing and while Martin waits in custody, a second man remains on the run.

"We know for a fact that we've got an outstanding offender," Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said after Martin's arrest.

"[The] offender is depicted in the footage that we've released as the larger male.

"Rest assured we will be following up further [in] the upcoming days to get this person behind bars," he said.

Police asked for support to help identify the second suspect and have released CCTV footage of two men they wish to speak to.



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