A former A League player has been released on bail after spending the past seven months in jail on a number of charges.
Fallen former A-League cult hero Kerem Bulut is forced into a drug rehabilitation program after being released on bail while awaiting trial on a number of charges, including two charges of assault.
Bulut, 29, painted a picture of relief Thursday afternoon after being told he will be released from prison for the first time in seven months after successfully filing bail with the NSW Supreme Court.
The former Western Sydney Wanderer player and representative of Young Socceroos was arrested in March after police allegedly saw him assault another man at his Rockdale apartment.
His attorney attacked the strength of the crown case, arguing that the allegations were difficult to prove as they relied solely on testimony from the police, who were remotely watching the incident.
“From a distance of 50 meters, I would agree that some observations will be made, but the precise account of what happened, behavior and what went on will be clearly difficult to determine,” said Daniel Maxton, Mr. Bulut’s attorney, the court.
At the time, he was on bail for theft, with Judge Stephen Rothman describing the alleged incidents that made up those charges as “strange”.
Judge Rothman told the court that he stole $ 500 from a friend when he withdrew it from an ATM in February 2020.
About seven months later, the court heard that while the couple were away, the man was demanding the money back.
“It’s quite a strange theft, it seems more like civil debt and controversial credit,” said Judge Rothman.
He is also reported to have attacked his cellmate at Silverwater Prison while he was in custody in March this year.
“I am not reducing the crime in the prison system,” said Judge Rothman.
“But the prison system is a context that invites violence.
“Not so long ago I was involved in a prison murder that arose from the question of whether or not someone would be a sweeper.
“The relationships and context of the prison invite a degree of aggression that may or may not exist outside the prison environment.”
Mr Bulut has been charged with willfully causing grievous bodily harm to a person, inflicting actual bodily harm and reckless assault.
Police had previously announced that his alleged victim had been rushed to hospital with a broken eye socket and bruises on the head.
Prosecutors refused bail, arguing that he posed an escape hazard and a risk for further crime.
However, Mr Maxton successfully argued that his cases would be significantly delayed due to Covid.
He noted that the matter is unlikely to be closed until the middle of next year, and said any time in pre-trial detention could exceed a potential prison term if found guilty.
Judge Rothman said Mr Bulut was an unacceptable risk of relapse but argued that imposing stringent conditions could mitigate it.
He has been released on bail and is required to report to the police on a daily basis, cannot speak to his alleged victims, cannot do drugs or consume alcohol, and must participate in a drug rehabilitation program
“You understand that these conditions are stringent and that you must be involved in a rehabilitation program that frankly appears to be in everyone’s best interests,” said Judge Rothman.
“I should tell you that the police are looking for you and that violation of the Supreme Court bail is subject to the condition that you are unlikely to be bailed by someone else.”
“Yes, I do you the honor, thank you,” said Mr Bulut as he was watching via video link from the Goulburn Correctional Center.
Mr. Bulut was a member of several Australian junior national teams before making his professional debut for Czech club Mladá Boleslav.
He returned to Australia to play a handful of A-League games for the Wanderers over two stints before returning to Europe.
He was signed to Turkish team Menemen Belediye, but his career was abruptly halted in 2018 when he was banned for four years after a positive cocaine test during the season.
He will return to Sutherland District Court later this month.