Ex-NSW police minister Troy Grant’s father, who is accused of killing a pedestrian while drink driving at more than twice the legal limit, will spend Christmas with his family after being released on bail.
Kenneth Wayne Grant appeared in Burwood Local Court on Monday, where he was granted conditional bail by magistrate Lisa Stapleton.
The 70-year-old, who previously lived alone, must report to Gladesville police station on a weekly basis, live with his son Troy in Chiswick and cannot drink alcohol.
Ms Stapleton said Mr Grant had no criminal history, strong community ties, no criminal associations and was a “man of impeccable character”.
However, she said Mr Grant had allegedly committed a “serious offence” that resulted in a death, and police had a strong case against him.
If Mr Grant been refused bail, the retired police officer would potentially have been in custody for more than 12 months with a custodial sentence likely to follow, Ms Price said, adding he posed only a “slight flight risk”.
The court also heard Mr Grant might have cognitive impairment issues requiring investigation relating to his culpability.
Mr Grant was arrested on Sunday after allegedly hitting Tony Greenfield, 62, with his ute about 11.30pm on November 30 at Flat Road in the Maitland suburb of Bolwarra.
The scientist, a friend of Mr Grant’s, died of his injuries in Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital.
The ute that allegedly struck him had left the scene. A short time later, police spotted the gold Mazda and attempted to stop it, but the driver ignored them and a pursuit began.
The low-speed chase through local streets ended on Maitland’s High Street after the vehicle mounted the footpath, detectives say.
Police have previously said Mr Grant returned a positive roadside breath test and a subsequent analysis returned a reading of 0.108.
Mr Grant was initially charged with a mid-range drink-driving offence and driving recklessly while not stopping for police.
After further investigations, he was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death and failing to stop offences.
His son Troy – who was NSW police minister from April 2015-March 2019 – broke down outside court on Monday, saying his father had “offered to trade his own life” to bring back Mr Greenfield.
“That’s not possible,” Troy Grant said.
“The only thing we can do is try to get his family and everyone the answers as to how and why this tragedy has occurred and that journey starts today.”
Mr Grant said his father was devastated by what had happened.
“I’m devastated. All he’s talked about is what a terrific person Tony and his family were. He can’t speak high enough of him,” he said.
Mr Grant is next due to face Maitland Local Court on December 18.