The man accused of stealing a Tesla belonging to tennis star Nick Kyrgios has pleaded not guilty to five charges associated with the incident.
The 32-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, allegedly stole the vehicle from Mr Kyrgios’ mother on 1 May after threatening her at gunpoint. The man has been in custody since then. He appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court via phone link this morning (6 June).
Legal Aid solicitor Jan de Bruin entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to the charges, which included aggravated robbery, driving a vehicle without consent and failing to stop for police.
Magistrate Glenn Theakston told the court the case would be adjourned for six weeks.
According to court documents, it is alleged that Mr Kyrgios’ mother partially opened her front door on 1 May to find a man wearing a mask standing outside pointing a long-barrelled firearm at her.
The man allegedly forced the door open with the gun, demanded the keys to Mr Kyrgios’ green Tesla, and pointed the gun towards her and demanded she tell him how to drive it.
It is reported she was escorted outside at gunpoint but ran back inside the home and screamed for help when the man got inside the car.
Mr Kyrgios tracked his Tesla using an app on his phone, was able to tell police its location and place an 80 km/h speed limit on the car to help police follow it.
About 15 minutes after it was stolen, police found the Tesla parked on the street, but the driver allegedly sped away when they approached. Police then chased the car through Canberra while Mr Kyrgios gave them updates on its location using the app.
Officers cornered the car in Ainslie at about 9 am and the man was allegedly pulled from the driver’s seat and arrested after a struggle, during which he was tasered. Police said that he had to be taken to Canberra Hospital for treatment after allegedly sustaining a number of injuries due to his non-compliance during the arrest.
ACT Policing raided a home in Gilmore the following day and allegedly found a shotgun, which police believe was the gun used during the alleged robbery.
When the accused appeared in court on 2 May, his application for bail was opposed by the prosecutor due to concerns he could fail to appear in court and interfere with witnesses.
His lawyer, Legal Aid’s Ketinia McGowan, argued his alleged involvement in the robbery was entirely circumstantial as it was based on when the Tesla was stolen and when her client was found inside it.
The court also heard the man had claimed he and his family had been receiving threats over a substantial debt, but Ms McGowan said he was unsure who those people were or why they were making demands.
Magistrate Glenn Theakston ultimately said no bail conditions could adequately address the risks of alleged reoffending and refused bail.