Accused Cessnock tip murderer Adam Bidner pleads not guilty, will face trial

SEARCH: Specialist police at Cessnock Waste Management Centre in July last year. Adam Andrew Bidner, now 32, on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to murder over the death of Shane Mears.
SEARCH: Specialist police at Cessnock Waste Management Centre in July last year. Adam Andrew Bidner, now 32, on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to murder over the death of Shane Mears.

ADAM Andrew Bidner, accused of hitting a rival scrap metal collector with his car and leaving him for dead at the Cessnock waste management facility last year, has pleaded not guilty to murder and will face a trial in NSW Supreme Court.

Mr Bidner, now 32, of Aberdare, appeared in Newcastle Local Court via audio visual link from jail on Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty to murder, dangerous driving occasioning death and fail to stop and assist after vehicle impact causing death in relation to the death of 54-year-old Shane Mears at the waste management facility on July 5 last year.

Mr Bidner, who was represented by lawyer Seemab Awan, will next appear in Sydney Supreme Court in November to get a trial date, likely in 2022 and likely in Newcastle Supreme Court.

And while he denies being responsible for causing Mr Mears's death, Mr Bidner pleaded guilty on Wednesday to attacking a man using a pick axe handle in a separate incident from April 2020.

In relation to that incident, Mr Bidner pleaded guilty to using an offensive weapon in company and reckless grievous bodily harm in company and will next appear in Newcastle District Court later this month to get a sentence date.

Detectives say Mr Bidner and Mr Mears were known to each other and had a "history of antagonism" and "bad blood".

According to police, a few weeks before his death, Mr Bidner told Mr Mears that he would "get" him and Mr Mears would not see it coming, the prosecution revealed during a failed bail application for Mr Bidner in Newcastle Local Court in January.

"Mearsy, I'll get you and you won't even see it coming," Mr Bidner is alleged to have said.

And detectives allege that sometime between 4.45pm and 5.10pm on July 5, Mr Bidner used his Toyota Landcruiser to run down the 54-year-old at the waste management facility on Old Maitland Road.

And while Mr Mears lay dying from multiple critical injuries beside a large scrap heap in an isolated area of the facility, Mr Bidner is accused of fleeing the scene.

What started as a grisly mystery - a man found dead inside the Cessnock tip after closing time - quickly became a major investigation and manhunt, with the NSW Homicide Squad called in to assist Hunter Valley detectives.

Mr Bidner was arrested at a property at Lovedale about 10.20am on July 8 and police say they found a silver Toyota Landcruiser in Mr Bidner's father's garage and seized it as it was being cleaned.

As well as his other more serious charges, Mr Bidner will next week be sentenced in Cessnock Local Court after pleading guilty to a single count of fraud.

This story Accused Cessnock tip murderer to face trial first appeared on Newcastle Herald.