Second rape accused gets bail

Nicholas Morse.

Nicholas Morse.

A 21-year-old man accused of arming himself with a shotgun to rape a woman has been released from custody.

Nicholas Morse, of Redan, made a successful bail application at the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Magistrate Jon Klestadt said he was satisfied bail could be granted with significant conditions.

He said it was a very close decision, with police opposing the bail application.

A large family contingent were present at the hearing, with some family members crying after hearing Morse would be bailed.

Morse’s bail conditions include $10,000 surety, live at a static address, daily reporting at the Ballarat Police Station, curfew, not to contact witnesses, not to associate with co-accused and not to consume alcohol and use drugs.

The bricklayer faces 15 charges, including rape, armed with a firearm with intent to commit rape, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury, making a threat to kill and being a non-prohibited person possessing an unregistered longarm.

Mr Klestadt said he granted Morse bail because of his lack of prior criminal history and family support.

Morse’s co-accused Jack Cowton, of Wendouree, was bailed on July 28 after his family provided a $5000 surety.

Jack Cowton

Jack Cowton

Cowton is charged with six offences, including rape, making a threat to kill and property damage.

The pair were charged on July 27 following an alleged incident at Redan on July 15.

Cowton and Morse will return to court on October 12 for a committal mention hearing.