National

Mehajer refused bail pending fraud appeal

By AAP Newswire

Controversial Sydney businessman Salim Mehajer has been refused bail pending his appeal against a jail term for electoral fraud in 2012.

The 32-year-old was jailed in June for 21 months, to be released after 11 months, after a magistrate found him guilty of 77 charges related to a joint criminal enterprise with his sister aimed at influencing the 2012 Auburn Council vote.

The undeclared bankrupt was wearing prison greens and had his head down writing when he appeared in the NSW District Court via audio visual link from jail on Thursday.

Before the former Auburn deputy mayor was jailed on June 22, he spent the previous few months in and out of prison, after winning and losing bail applications or breaching bail conditions on other charges.

His lawyer on Thursday argued that it appeared the magistrate jailed him without considering other options such as an intensive corrections order which is served in the community.

If his September 3 appeal was successful, Mehajer would already have served about one-quarter of the sentence.

He also referred to the need to get updated information and treatment for Mehajer's recently diagnosed bi-polar mood disorder.

In dismissing the application, Judge Helen Syme said the magistrate provided comprehensive and well-reasoned written reasons for the sentence she imposed.

As well as discussing Mehajer's mental health issues, the magistrate had concluded that the only appropriate sentence was full-time custody.

By inference, this suggested she had considered the alternatives, the judge said.