Sydney developer Salim Mehajer has been loaded onto a stretcher and taken to hospital for scans after a car crash while on his way to court to face charges over an alleged assault on a taxi driver.
Mr Mehajer’s lawyer Brett Galloway told Downing Centre Local Court his client was involved in a “serious accident” on his way to the hearing, which has been adjourned until Tuesday.
Outside court, Mr Galloway said Mr Mehajer had been a passenger in the vehicle that crashed, however vision from the scene showed his client being removed from the driver’s seat of the Mercedes SUV.
“These things happen. Bad things happen at the wrong time, [you] can’t do much about it really,” he said.
Mr Mehajer is accused of assaulting a taxi driver outside the Star Casino on April 2 by throwing the driver’s EFTPOS machine at him.
He is also accused of stealing the driver’s phone and throwing it out of the car.
On Monday morning, paramedics put a neck brace on Mr Mehajer and took him from the scene of the crash, in Lidcombe, in an ambulance.
The former Auburn deputy mayor is undergoing scans at Westmead Hospital, and another of his lawyers, Mahmoud Abbas, said his client was “holding up”.
Mr Mehajer’s father has visited him in hospital.
“There is a possibility his existing injuries could have been exacerbated,” Mr Abbas said.
When asked what the chances were of someone being in a car crash on the day they were expected in court, Mr Abbas replied: “That’s ridiculous, if you’re insinuating anything.”
In a further assault charge, Mr Mehajer is accused of injuring a reporter by shutting a car door on her hand as she tried to interview him.
Mr Mehajer was taken to Day Street Police Station on April 2 and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and larceny.
On his release from the station, about 12:30pm, Mr Mehajer got in a cab – but when the driver was told of the accusations against his passenger, he turned the engine off.
In front of scores of journalists, police removed Mr Mehajer from the taxi.