A WA MP facing sex abuse charges has had his bail conditions amended so he can attend next week’s Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium on the Sunshine Coast.
James Hayward, who sits on WA’s Select Committee into Cannabis and Hemp, was accused of sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl late last year.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges in court and strict bail conditions were set, including that he did not leave the state and reported regularly to his local police station. Police originally opposed bail, saying there was a risk he would make contact with witnesses.
On Monday, during a hearing at Perth Magistrates Court, Hayward’s lawyer applied to have his bail conditions amended to allow him to travel interstate for Symposium.
The court was told that if he could not attend the event as a member of the select committee, he would be deemed unable to fulfill his responsibilities and would have to resign.
Prosecutors did not oppose the application, which was granted by the magistrate.
Hayward resigned as a member of the Nationals when the allegations came to light, but refused to resign as an MP. He will return to court next month.