Vic stabbing murder accused granted bail

Robert Richter QC says his murder-accused client was at risk of death if he remained in custody.
Robert Richter QC says his murder-accused client was at risk of death if he remained in custody.

A teenager who allegedly stabbed a man to death in a Melbourne gang brawl has been granted bail.

Lindim Aliti, 18, is charged with murdering 20-year-old Thomas Tran in the fight at Oakleigh on June 29.

Prosecutors said Mr Tran was unarmed when he was stabbed from behind three times, including in the heart, during the brawl involving about 20 young men.

Aliti was allegedly summoned to the incident via Snapchat and had a knife. His friends are accused of helping him flee and destroying his phone's SIM card.

He was granted bail in Victoria's Supreme Court on Tuesday, after Robert Richter QC argued the teen was at risk of dying in custody because of his epilepsy.

Mr Richter also argued there was no evidence to show Aliti was a gang member or participated in any gang activities.

"Except on this night," Justice Paul Coghlan quipped.

While the judge did not excuse the behaviour of Mr Tran and his group in the incident, he said "if it hadn't been for gang activity, this young man would still be alive".

Mr Richter said Aliti had gone to sit in front of a police station for a few minutes after the fight.

"That is not a situation in which the gang gets together and tries to get him away," the lawyer said.

He also said Aliti was prone to epileptic fits during his sleep and was at risk of death if he remained in custody.

The teen was bailed on a $600,000 surety offered against his family's house.

Aliti cannot use Snapchat and must abide by a curfew regardless of COVID-19 restrictions. He also cannot go to the suburb of Oakleigh.

The court was told a number of people involved in the brawl remain under investigation. Some of Aliti's associates are accused of making false statements to police.

The teen is due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on December 18.

Australian Associated Press