John Foss
John Foss

Hit-run murder charge

THE driver of a van that hit and killed a cyclist at Mullumbimby early this year has been committed to stand trial for murder.

Magistrate Jeff Linden committed 54-year-old James Andrew Mitchell of Clunes to stand trial in the Supreme Court in Sydney for the murder of John Arthur Foss.

Police allege Mitchell was driving a white Toyota HiAce van along Coolamon Scenic Dr about 10.30am on Tuesday, January 3 when he hit Mr Foss, who was riding his motorised bicycle, from behind.

Police allege Mitchell, who had a previous history with Mr Foss, then fled the scene.

Mr Foss was found by a passing surf lifesaver who rendered first aid before paramedics arrived. He was taken to Mullumbimby Hospital but died soon after.

Tweed-Byron Local Area Command duty officer, Inspector Greg Jago, previously confirmed that the two men knew each other.

"We are aware that both parties knew each other prior to the incident and apparently there was some animosity between them," Insp Jago told Fairfax Radio.

Mr Foss, of Ocean Shores, was described as an eccentric Irish expat who left an indelible impression on the lives of many.

The 60-year-old inventor was a passionate volunteer at Brunswick's Marine Rescue and pioneered a motorised bicycle business, building customised Fosscatis, around which he created a mythical character, Giacomo Fosscati and a whole imagined narrative.

Mitchell's solicitor did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.

Mitchell's committal hearing will be held on September 7.


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