A 27-year-old man from Dingley Village has been remanded in custody on Friday after being charged with an attempted murder in Kingsville in 2011. Craig Vitale appeared in an out-of-sessions bail hearing on Friday night facing eight charges, including attempted murder, armed robbery, intention to cause serious injury, recklessly cause serious injury, reckless conduct endangering life relating to firing a shotgun in the direction of a person.
He was also charged with stealing two boxes of Jim Beam.
The charges relate to an incident where two men, one armed with a firearm, allegedly entered a bottle shop on Geelong Road.
The men were alleged to have threatened staff before firing a shot into the cash register in an attempt to steal cash at 7.45pm on October 1.
Victoria Police spokeswoman Melissa Seach said the pair allegedly stole a quantity of alcohol and fled the scene.
The offenders are also alleged to have fired a shot at a driver in a nearby stationary vehicle.
At Friday’s bail hearing, bail justice Gary Chandler told Mr Vitale he was not there to judge his guilt, but to determine whether he would receive bail or not.
Mr Vitale, who remained handcuffed during the entire hearing, was dressed in a sleeveless blue T-shirt and blue jeans.
The 27-year-old told the bail justice he worked as a “confined space rescuer” and to the best of his knowledge was still employed.
However, Mr Vitale said he objected to the media being present at the hearing.
The bail justice told him that it was a court case and it was open to public.
Mr Vitale, who had a tattoos on his left arm and a black beard, then asked about his rights.
Mr Chandler said, “what rights are those?”
“The fact is that all our court cases are open to the public,” he said.
“In the old days, we used to put a sign on the front door of the police station that there was a court hearing in progress and any Joe Blow who walked past could walk in, that’s why it is open and transparent.”
Mr Vitale then asked the media to be identified and raised concerns about his privacy.
When the bail justice asked Mr Vitale about his health, he said he suffered from a mental health problem, but was not on any medication.
He said he was seeing a psychiatrist and a counsellor.
Mr Chandler asked Mr Vitale to tell him why he should be granted bail.
Mr Vitale said he was not seeking bail and wanted to sit in front of a court with his lawyer.
Mr Vitale was remanded in custody and will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning.
Another man is also in police custody and was set to appear at a bail hearing later on Friday.