Scone Court Report: April 2017

Filed in Feature, Just In by April 21, 2017

MAGISTRATE Roger Clisdell presided in Scone Local Court this month and jokingly said to solicitor George Fraser “you never know what a visiting Magistrate is going to be like and how he might deal with a section 32!” While he had a different style to Magistrate Prowse he shared interesting insights into the justice system with those who came before him, for example explaining that a apprehended violence order, “is a shield not a sword! You can’t wave it at someone as you walk down the street, it is for if they come near you and then you call the police.” He also took a different approach to being called ‘mate’ to other Magistrates, noting a colleague in Queensland who sent a man to gaol for the disrespectful approach.

Matters before Scone Local Court in April included:

BROWN-MCINERNEY, Codie, a 24 year old from Scone presented on charges of drive motor vehicle with illicit drug present in blood – first offence and illicit drug present in oral fluid – first offence. The offence occurred in Muswellbrook on the New England Highway on December 4 during random drug testing, when cannabis and methamphetamines were detected. Mr Brown-McInerney objected to the claim that he had used methamphetamine, but the Magistrate noted Mr Brown-McInerney had admitted to police that he smoked pot every day, further pointing out that he is not allowed to smoke pot and drive. Mr Brown-McInerney confirmed he did smoke pot, but insisted he had not used methamphetamine. The Magistrate mused perhaps Mr Brown-McInerney had used apparatus which had been used for methamphetamine previously, which Mr Brown-McInerney agreed may be the case. The Magistrate then said, “well, regardless you get to lose your licence today!” Magistrate Clisdell said he must surrender his licence within seven days to the court house or the police station. Mr Brown-McInerney was fined $400 and disqualified from driving for three months. Throughout the matter Mr Brown-McInerney referred to the Magistrate as ‘mate’ and after the matter was heard, Magistrate Clisdell noted it was lucky he was not like a magistrate in Queensland who “locked people up for calling him ‘mate’,” but said he felt it was being done out of nerves rather than disrespect.

CAMERON, Georgia Lynne an 18 year old from Merriwa presented for sentencing on a charge of special category driver drive with special range prescribed concentration of alcohol. The offence occurred on March 9 at approximately 9:10pm on the New England Highway in Scone, when Ms Cameron a provisional licence holder returned a reading of 0.021. The Magistrate noted she had not lost any points on her licence, does a great deal of driving and has a genuine need for a licence. “She made a mistake and she’s learnt from her mistake and her traffic record shows she is not a danger to the public,” said Magistrate Clisdell. He also warned, “you’ve now used up all of your brownie points at once and you’ll never get another chance like this again.” Ms Cameron was given a six months good behaviour bond.

DINOU, Nikos a 31 year old from Ellerston had a charge of drive recklessly/furiously of speed/manner dangerous and negligent driving. The offences are alleged to have occurred on February 18 between 11:15pm and 11:50pm at Moonan Flat on the Hunter Road. The matter was adjourned until June 22.

FINLAY, Rosemary a 79 year old from Scone appeared to appeal the decision of the Roads and Maritime Services to suspend her licence due to medical reasons. Ms Finlay has since obtained her learners permit and so no appeal was needed.

HARTMANN, Kim Louise a 47 year old from Scone presented on two charges of destroy or damage property. The matter was adjourned until June 23.

HEATH, Jason Phillip a 30 year old from Bolwarra appeared unrepresented on an offence of destroy or damage property less than $2000. An adjournment was being sought as Mr Heath is waiting for legal aid representation and has had the application in since late February. The matter was adjourned to May 18 with Magistrate Clisdell adding he should tell Legal Aid that you need it by the 18th of May because there is a very cranky Magistrate wanting it sorted by that date.

HENLEY, Alexander Stuart an 18 year old from Dural pled guilty to a charge of drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, which was his second offence, cultivate prohibited plant and drive illicit drug in blood. On March 17 between 4:20pm and 4:30pm police had attended the BP service station in Scone when they were informed Mr Henley was “hiding inside the toilets on seeing police.” As a result police looked in Mr Henley’s car and found a mature cannabis plant in a black pot on the passenger seat in clear view. Mr Henley was drug tested and returned a reading for methylamphetamine and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Magistrate Clisdell, “you could have been going to gaol today for a couple of years and it would have been catastrophic to you forming a beneficial relationship in the community.” Instead he sentenced Mr Henley to a total of 42 months of good behaviour bonds and was disqualified from driving for six months. Magistrate Clisdell warned, “I’ve given you a chance take it and breaching it could result in gaol!”

HICKS, Mark a 52 year old from Upper Rouchel appeared and pled guilty to use a vehicle not comply with standard-seat belt. No conviction was recorded and Magistrate Clisdell advised that the frayed seatbelt in question needs to be fixed.

KILROY, Corey John a 21 year old from Haypoint pled guilty to a charge of destroy or damage property and possess prohibited drug. On January 29, in Aberdeen, Mr Kilroy intentionally destroyed an LCD flat screen machine monitor. Magistrate Clisdell noted it was his third drug offence within a short time and said, “if you keep going with drugs you will end up in gaol and gaol will not be a good experience for someone of your build and size, if you don’t understand what I mean ask someone when you leave court and they’ll explain it.” Mr Kilroy was convicted on both counts, sentenced to two 12 month good behaviour bonds and is to pay $880 compensation for damages.

KOPCOK, Drasko had charge of detention application notice after breach. Magistrate Clisdell was annoyed with police and said, “if you are going to arrest someone then do so, don’t waste the court’s time by issuing a court attendance notice!” He then turned his attention to Mr Kopcok and said, “having said that don’t breach your bail or next time you’ll go into the slammer.” The matter was adjourned to Muswellbrook on June 26.

LAKE, Corey David Maurice a 24 year old from Dubbo had a charge of common assault and fail to appear in accordance with bail acknowledgment. The Magistrate noted the complainant was not present and said “usually when people vote with their feet and don’t turn up they are wasting the court’s time.” However, he further noted the complainant was “wanted by the police for other matters” so perhaps did not want to come to court to face the other issues with police. The matter was adjourned until May 18.

LAWLER, Matthew Raymond a 31 year old from Scone had two counts of possess unauthorised pistol, one count of not keep firearm safely and two counts of holder of category A or B licence not have approved storage. Magistrate Clisdell was annoyed Mr Lawler’s solicitor, Mr Barber, was delaying proceedings by writing to the court and asking for the matter to be held over. “I don’t care if Mr Barber is in trial for six months Mr Lawler can get a different lawyer, whose controlling the system? He hasn’t even entered a plea and he’s had two months! I don’t like the way lawyers seem to just write to court these days, when an agent can be used.” The matter was adjourned until May 18.

MCINTYRE, Jon Campbell a 50 year old from Southport, Queensland had a charge of common assault. Mr McIntyre is alleged to have assaulted a man at Merriwa on June 23, 2015.

OLDHAM, Danny John a 29 year old from Merriwa failed to appear on a charge of drive motor vehicle during disqualification. He was convicted and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

PAINE, Ian Fraser a 55 year old from Denman had a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol with a reading of 0.107. The incident occurred when he was riding his motorcycle in Scone on the New England highway on February 26. Mr Paine said he had been to a buck’s party the night before and had gone to bed at 10:30pm and didn’t think he would be over the legal limit. The Magistrate noted it was his second offence and said, “you are not going to have a third one, because you can’t come to court the third time and ask to get off! Once is a mistake, twice is careless, but three times is criminal.” He was convicted, fined $500 and disqualified from driving for six months.

PIKE, Neil had a civil matter with ALLISON-WOODS, Ashleigh and ALLISON-WOODS, Robin. The matter was adjourned until May 18.

PINKERTON, Ashley John a 31 year old from Parkville pled guilty to charges of destroy or damage property and common assault. The matter was adjourned until June 22.

RILEY, Matthew John a 31 year old from Parkville presented for sentencing on a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol with a reading of 0.087. The incident occurred in the Willow Tree Inn carpark, Scone on November 4, 2016. In reviewing Mr Riley’s record the Magistrate noted it was his fourth drink driving offence and also noted for a previous offence he had come before him when he was the Magistrate in Camden, “the chances of getting me again are pretty remote, but if you did you’d be going to gaol.” He was convicted, given a 12 month good behaviour bond and disqualified from driving for six months.

ROBINSON, Amber Cody a 22 year old from Scone had charges of steal dog and larceny to the value of less than $2,000. Mr Diggins, Ms Robinson’s solicitor, said the dog had approached Ms Robinson in the park and she had taken it home and cared for it for a week. In an effort to find the owner Ms Robinson had walked the dog, however conceded she did not contact police, the pound or the vets. He said Ms Robinson was concerned if she gave the dog to the pound that it would be used in dog fighting, so to find it a good home decided to list it for sale on the website Gumtree. He said she believed if someone was willing to pay money for the dog they were more likely to care for the dog. Magistrate Clisdell said, “you can’t save the world and you can’t save every stray dog! I am not going to fine you, but you have to pay compensation.” Ms Robinson was convicted and is to pay $300.

SMITH, Tracey versus FAP360 Trading, the matter was adjourned until May 18.

STEPHENS, Tarnya a 25 year old from Merriwa had charges of licence expired less than two years before, use offensive language in/near public place/school, one count of stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm, two counts of common assault and one count of behave in offensive manner in/near public place/school. Stephens was found guilty in her absence with no conviction recorded for the driving charge, found guilty and fined $200 for the offensive language charge but a warrant has been issued for her arrest for sentencing on the remaining charges.

SUNDERLAND, Gordon Wayne a 60 year old from Scone pled guilty to a charge of drive with high range prescribed concentration of alcohol. The offence occurred on January 27 between 10:20pm and 11pm on Gundy Road, Scone, when he returned a reading of 0.161. Mr Sunderland came to the attention of police when he swerved within the lane and varied his speed. Police observed Mr Sunderland smelt of alcohol, had slow slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet. In the police statement Mr Sunderland said he had consumed 12 schooners off XXXX Gold between 4pm and 10:15pm at the Scone Bowling Club before driving home to Glenbawn Dam. Mr Sunderland will complete the Traffic Offenders Programme and the matter was adjourned until May 18.

TIBBEY, Sean Luke Terry a 28 year old from Muswellbrook had charges of enter enclosed land not prescribed premises without lawful excuse, two counts of licence expired less than two years before, two counts of use unregistered registerable vehicle on road, two counts of use uninsured motor vehicle and one count of possess ammunition without holding licence/permit/authority. The matter was adjourned to Tamworth on May 15 and bail was suspended whilst Mr Tibbey is in rehabilitation.

VANHAREN, Clay Vincent a 22 year old from Muswellbrook failed to appear on charges of remain on enclosed land not prescribed premises without lawful excuse, stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm, two counts of use unregistered registrable motor vehicle, one count of fail to appear in accordance with bail acknowledgement and one count of use uninsured motor vehicle. Mr Vanharen was convicted and fined $300 for enclosed lands, for stalk and intimidate he was convicted fined $800, for an unregistered motor vehicle he was convicted and fined $200 and for failing to appear convicted and fined $500.

VEEN, David Johannes a 34 year old from Scone had a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol returning a reading of 0.102. The incident occurred on March 31 in Scone. Magistrate Clisdell said, “you have a previous drink driving offence ten years ago and you are still on p-plates, but you have no offences since 2011” He was convicted and fined $400 and disqualified from driving for six months.

WATTS, Logan Bradley a 20 year old from Scone appeared for a charge of drive with low range prescribed concentration of alcohol, which was his second offence. The Magistrate said, “you haven’t got a good traffic record and apart from the two PCA (prescribed concentration of alcohol) offences there are eight previous offences, I don’t think you were ready to have a licence!” “Inside a three year period you’ve had 24 demerit points, been suspended for speeding more than 30 kilometres over and suspended for points and disqualified for a low range PCA, got your licence back and got caught speeding, this is one of the poorest traffic records inside three years you could see! If you want to kill yourself you are going about it in the right way! You are an accident waiting to happen. You’ve already been in an accident as a passenger and I don’t want you coming at me on the other side of the road. You’ve already contributed $4,000 to the New South Wales government coffers, that could be a holiday to Bali, so I’d suggest you stop contributing to them.” He was convicted and fined $500, disqualified from driving for three months and an interlock to be fitted for 12 months. “If you come back again drink driving I don’t know what is going to happen to you, it’s time to grow up!” said Magistrate Clisdell.

WILCOX, Dean Andrew a 22 year old from Mayfield entered a written plea of guilty for a charge of not give way to vehicle/pedestrian. The offence is alleged to have occurred on December 26 on Glenbawn Road, Segenhoe. The hearing was set for June 23.

WILLIAMS-EDMISTON, Louisa a 20 year old from Merriwa failed to appear to appeal a decision by the Roads and Maritime Services. The matter was adjourned until May 18.

YOUSAF, Atif  a 33 year old from Mount Druitt appeared unrepresented for hearing regarding a speeding matter of exceed speed more that 10km/h – Lidar. Magistrate Clisdell explained in detail the process of the court during a hearing. Mr Yousaf disagreed that he was speeding but during his evidence he admitted that he was doing over 50km/h in the 50km/h zone but added he was not doing 70. Magistrate Clisdell explained that the offence is one of strict liability and that it doesn´t matter why you are speeding or even if you do it accidentally, you are guilty if you are speeding.  Magistrate Clisdell stopped Mr Yousaf’s evidence indicating there is no point continuing with a not guilty plea as you have admitted to speeding. He was convicted and fined $100 and the one demerit point will still be deducted from his licence.