Scone Court Report: September 2017

Filed in Recent News by September 22, 2017

THIS month Magistrate Prowse was again annoyed at documents not being available from the Director of Public Prosecutions office to the court and further confused by the inability of their representatives to appear in Scone court for matters when they readily drive through the town on their way to Tamworth court. But his blood pressure really rose at what he described as the definition of usury from the registry office which charged in excess of $40 for postage, when stamps only cost $1. Even after the matter had ended he continued to voice his outrage, “what an outrage…anyway I am outraged!! It is usury or gouging or both! Anyway, let’s move onto something else before my blood pressure goes any higher.” His consideration of concept of equality was less stressed, “that’s the funny thing about equality, everyone thinks they are entitled to be treated equally.” While he objected to the term “juvie” being used to describe gaol as being American and trivialising gaol he did refer to a phone as a lamb shank bone, which was an interested variation on the dog and bone.

Matters before the court this month included:

ALLWELL, Tyler William, appeared in custody on charges of larceny, three counts of drive motor vehicle during disqualification, one count of drive vehicle illicit drug present in blood – second offence, possess prohibited drug, possess ammunition without holding licence/permit/authority, three counts of destroy or damage property, one count of stalk/intimidate intent fear physical harm, contravene prohibition/restriction in apprehended violence order, armed with commit indictable offence, class A vehicle displaying unauthorised number plate,  use unregistered class A motor vehicle on road, use uninsured motor vehicle and drive while licence cancelled. The lengthy list of charges Magistrate Prowse dealt with from the lower end of the scale to the matter of repeatedly driving whilst disqualified, “you thumbed your nose at the court and the rest of the community and without regard, which means ordinarily you are up for a serious matter, but this is not the only matter….you were sentenced to gaol because there is no other penalty.” In relation to the assault he described Mr Allwell as being “vicious, vindictive and had a significant level of harm imposed..” The aggregate sentence was 30 months imprisonment, however Prowse said he recognised the importance of integrating back into the community andgave him a non-parole period of 18 months and a parole period of 12 months.

ANDRAWES, Maged, a 52 year old from Tregear appeared on a charge of drive unlicensed. Mr Maged told Magistrate Prowse because he didn’t have a job he didn’t believe he required a driver’s licence and he was driving back from holiday to his private property. Magistrate Prowse explained you need a licence if you want to drive. However, the Magistrate noted it was not illegal to drive without a licence if you were on private property and asked Mr Maged if he owned that particular piece of the New England highway at Wingen where he was charged, to which Mr Maged said no. The Magistrate said he would adjourn the matter until October, to which Mr Maged said “it’s a long drive from Sydney and it’s an inconvenience to come back.” The Magistrate asked the Police prosecutor to attempt contact the arresting officer so that matter could be heard, however the officer was not available. The matter was adjourned until October 20.

BLAYDEN, Matthew James, a 37 year old from Murrurundi presented in custody on charges of common assault, aggravated enter dwelling without knowing people there, damage property by fire/explosion and larceny. The offences occurred in Murrurundi on June 18, the larceny was in relation to a mobile phone and the damage property by fire was of a handbag. The matter was before the court on Thursday, however Magistrate Prowse took exception to the Director of Public Prosecutors (DPP) not being available. “The DPP seem to think the court should revolve around their preferences and they are not here in Scone today. There will be a cost order…even though the DPP are driving past Scone seem content to appear in Tamworth.” On Friday the matter again came before the court. The Magistrate refused bail, ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned the matter until October 19.

BROWN, Mitchell John, a 23 year old from Merriwa had charges of knowingly drive vehicle in manner menaces other, drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, negligent driving (no death of grievous bodily harm), drive in dark no lights – not class B/C S-T-C, drive across dividing lines to do a U-turn – motor vehicle, use intimidation/violence to unlawfully influence person and stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm. The first charge remained, but the other six sequences were withdrawn. Magistrate Prowse said, “The court doesn’t accept driving like that fr any reason…there is general public safety and also the courts safety, because the court uses that road as well and I really don’t want to come across someone like you! Come back on the 25th of November, there won’t be any further adjournments if you need to do everything you are instructed to do (by his solicitor) and if you haven’t done what you’ve been asked to do…have I been subtle enough, or do I have to break it down?” Mr Brown said he was clear. The matter was adjourned until November 23 for sentencing.

COWLEY, Leighton Scott, a 34 year old from Aberglassyn had charges of use class A vehicle number plate obscured defaced, motor bike rider (alone) not wear/secure fit approved helmet and not ride motor bike with at least one hand on handlebars. The third sequence of not ride a motor bike with at least one hand was withdrawn. The charge of number plate obscured was considered and the definition of what is the “rear” of the bike debated. The bike was sold new to Mr Cowley with the number plate in place and other police had pulled Mr Cowley over and not booked him for the number plate not being at the direct rear of the bike. The charge of the helmet not being certified was weighted against the circumstances of the helmet being purchased from a bike shop with a certification sticker and a fabric certification stitched into the inside of the helmet. Magistrate Prowse said of the number plate placement, “I accept it was registered in that fashion, so it is a mistake of law, it’s just passed rego so away I go,” but the bike was deemed not to comply with the definition of rear as described in the legislation. “The helmet I understand how you go see that sticker on the back and certified in the stitching and I think I would trust it was certified too, but for some technical reason it isn’t and again it is not a situation of your design or interference, but you’ve told me you won’t wear the helmet again and you will fix the number plate.” Both matters were proven with no penalty. Magistrate Prowse further suggested perhaps the old bike helmet could make a good ice bucket.

CUNNEEN, Sheree Lisa, a 33 year old from Scone had three charges of shoplifting two of which were less than $2,000 and one count of enter enclosed land not prescribed premises without lawful excuse. The items are alleged to have been a 750ml bottle of Hennessy cognac from Coles valued at $70 on April 27, a Dr Pepper from the Aberdeen fuel station valued at $3 on May 4 and a 700ml bottle of cognac from Woolworths in Scone on August 17. The matter was adjourned until October 19.

HARDES, Malcolm Peter, a 38 year old from Parkville pled not guilty to two counts of drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous – second offence, two counts of overtake vehicle when unsafe, two counts of not keep left of dividing line – class B/C vehicle, one count of unreasonably obstruct the path of driver/pedestrian, operate vehicle so as to harass/intimidate person and cut in front of vehicle after overtaking. Magistrate Prowse sought to arrange a hearing date to which Mr Hardes said he believed he could be at the hearing, to which the Magistrate said, “belief is a wonderful thing it even allows people to kill people under a divine right – so let’s put belief to one side – can you get to Tamworth?” Mr Hardes was unsure of the dates he was available, to which Magistrate Prowse said, “I used to equivocate a lot but I couldn’t decide if I should continue.” The hearing was set for December 7 in Tamworth.

HENLEY, Alexander Stuart, an 18 year old from Murrurundi had a charge of cultivate prohibited plant – small quantity and drive motor vehicle during disqualification period – second offence. Mr Henley failed to appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

HEYCOX, Patrick William, a 44 year old from Cassilis had charges of common assault and possess prohibited drug. The alleged offences occurred on August 25 in Cassilis and the prohibited drug was 1.2g of cannabis. The matter was adjourned until October 19.

JOHNSON, Bradley Philip, a 39 year old from Muswellbrook had a charge of drive motor vehicle while licence suspended. Key documents were required by the court, but not provided prompting Magistrate Prowse to exclaim, “revelare application”. The observing “nothing has appeared! Mr Betts speaks of the application, you speak of the application, but it’s not here.” The matter was adjourned for hearing on October 19.

LEONARD, Steven Maxwell, a 60 year old from Tamworth pled guilty to a charge of class A motor vehicle exceed speed more than 10 kilometres an hour. Mr Leonard explained to Magistrate Prowse he had not been speeding before or after taking over a horse float, only as he was taking over the horse float in an effort to get past it before the lanes merged.  Mr Leonard also explained to the Magistrate that he had previously had a suspended licence but it was unrelated to his driving, rather it was for outstanding fines. Magistrate Prowse said he would not take the previous suspended licence into account during his considerations explaining, “it is a revenue protection measure and has nothing to do with anything other than collection revenue, but nothing to do with public safety and I give it no weigh whatsoever.” Magistrate Prowse then said, “however 125 in a 100 zone and to be only prosecuted for over 10 instead of over 20 means you have been dealt with extra generously from the officer. However, I note your explanation which was your reluctance to be caught behind something but such is a vicissitude of life so as opposed to giving it the gun to get past it, don’t. I work on the basis of it super cares can’t do it on the F1 or moto GP riders can’t do it, then all of us other can’t do it either. If you could round a corner like they can at 200 kilometres I’d consider letting you off, but you can’t. You see people think when I sit and watch motor racing that it’s a waste of time, but it does help here.” Mr Leonard was convicted and fined $300.

MITCHELL, Tony Steven, a 41 year old from South Tamworth pled guilty to a charge never licensed person drive vehicle on road. Mr Mitchell was found to be driving without a licence in Scone at approximately 2:30pm on August 17. The matter was adjourned to Tamworth on October 16.

MUDGE, Bradley Raymond, a 39 year old from Tamworth had a charge of drive vehicle under influence of alcohol. The alleged offence occurred on June 7 at approximately 5am on the New England Highway at Wallabadah when methylamphetamine was detected. In reference to a psychologist’s treatment plan presented in Mr Mudge’s matter the Magistrate said, “The number of people who can go through life not understanding what a ‘plan’ is – is astounding!” The matter was adjourned until December 21. Magistrate Prowse recommended Mr Mudge fully engage in the proposed treatment plan adding Mr Mudge’s solicitor Mr Hoffman had an enormous amount of work to do until December 21.

NB & CG LYMBERY Trading as Scone Auto Port Pty Ltd v Greg Milton had a civil matter where Scone Auto Port was trying to recover $5,367 owed to them by Mr Greg Milton. Mr Milton did not appear before the court and Magistrate Prowse noted while Mr Milton had been given the opportunity to present he had not, therefore the matter was dealt with in his absence and the judgement was made in favour of Scone Auto Port for the bill and service costs, with interest accruing. The service costs incensed the Magistrate and he questioned what the cost of a stamp was to which he was advised approximately $1. “How can the registry then charge another $40?” asked the Magistrate. “That’s a scandalous outrage!”

NB & CG LYMBERY Trading as Scone Auto Port Pty Ltd v Stoneco Pty Ltd – The matter was settled in mediation and the statement of claim was withdrawn with consent.

OLDHAM, Danny John, a 30 year old from Merriwa had a charge of drive motor vehicle during disqualification period. The offence occurred at approximately 2:05pm on March 3 in Cassilis. Mr Oldham was fined $600 and disqualified from driving for two years.

PALMER, Carl Lincoln, a 36 year old from Scone had a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol – second offence. The alleged offence occurred on September 10 in St Aubin’s street, Scone when a breath analysis reading of 0.142 was returned. The matter was adjourned until October 19.

PENFOLD, Darrin James, a 44 year old from Scone had two counts of destroy or damage property less than $2,000. The damages related to an outside wall, a bedroom door and a clock in Scone on April 23. The matter was dismissed under section 32 of the mental health act and Mr Penfold is to comply with a treatment plan.

PERRY, Justin, a 35 year old from Muswellbrook pled guilty to a charge of licence expired less than two years before. Mr Perry said he thought the fine “was a bit harsh.” Prompting Magistrate Prowse to ask, “what do you think it should be? Should we have a postal vote to decide?” Magistrate Prowse noted Mr Perry had almost immediately renewed his licence and accepted it was an oversight by Mr Perry, but cautioned “put it on the fridge, forgetting is a human trait I’m told and I’m not sure how many times I’ve been told that, however let this be a lesson for next time! Have you got a smart phone? Apparently you can put it on there so that alarm goes completely off its tree in 2022, so there are all these mechanisms now.” The matter was proven and dismissed.

PRINGLE, Damon Grahame, a 44 year old from Scone appeared on charges of goods suspected stolen given other not entitled and furnish false information/statement to licensee. The matter was adjourned for sentencing on October 19. Magistrate Prowse recommended to Mr Pringle, “if you have a budgie give it some water, if you have a cat feed it before you come here on the next occasion, but thanks for coming today.”

PROSSER, Joshua David, a 25 year old from Barnsley had a charge of drive, licence suspended under section 66. The alleged offence occurred in Scone on August 22. The matter was adjourned to Newcastle on October 12.

REICHEL, Thomas Leslie, a 25 year old from Parkville had two counts of contravene prohibition/restriction in Apprehended Violence Order, one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threaten to destroy/damage other persons property, two counts of common assault, one count of stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm, intimidate police officer in execution of duty without actual bodily harm, two counts of destroy or damage property less than $2,000 and one count of exclude person re-enter/attempt to re-enter premises. Mr Reichel’s solicitor said that he had changed markedly, was in treatment, had a full time job which he travels to by public transport and takes an hour and a half each way and volunteered in the Red Shield Appeal. “He has a good job, he is well liked by his employer and his intention is to rent a property near work.” Magistrate Prowse said, “it looks like things are going quite well.” In summation the Magistrate said, “these matters started in March 2016, June 2016, then September 2016 – a series of offences which were serious. The court got sick of you offending, you offending your family and you offending the public so you were taken into custody until you got into this rehabilitation place and alleluia it has been working! They speak well of you. There has been a significant change which is the only reason you are not surrounded by coppers at the moment waiting to get you…Telling someone to go to rehab is like telling the wind to stop blowing because you have to want to do it, but you clearly are. The prospect of you committing further offence has to be close to nil and since September there hasn’t been. Instead of digging furiously towards China you have begun climbing the rope to get out of the hole. How long do you think it will take to get to the top of that hole?” Mr Reichel said he would continue to climb for as long as it takes. Magistrate Prowse noted that some of the people who worked in rehabilitation units had been in similar positions to Mr Reichel and had turned their lives around to help others. “They are people who get to the top of the ole themselves and then help other people up the rope. Perhaps you can start looking at pulling others up the rope and start putting back into the community.” Mr Reichel received an aggregate sentence of 2 years on parole. “Guess what happens if you break parole? Back to gaol!! Now for the last year you’ve managed to stay out of trouble it should therefore be a snap now because you have proven to yourself that you can do it. Don’t let yourself down and that way you won’t let the rest of the community down either. Keep up the good work, thanks for coming.”

SELWOOD, Colin Melvyn, a 53 year old from Scone pled guilty to a charge of drive with low range prescribed concentration of alcohol. The Magistrate declared an interest explaining he had been a patron of the Cottage and asked if the Crown or defence had concerns, which they didn’t. Mr Selwood’s solicitor said Mr Selwood had completed the traffic offenders program. He further noted Mr Selwood’s recent success with industry awards including best steak in regional New South Wales, his volunteer work and good standing in the community. The solicitor also explained Mr Selwood usually observed a two drink policy at work, a policy he had broken following the news of how a friend had died. Magistrate Prowse reviewed the matter and said, “Taking into account you entered a plea of guilty at the first available opportunity and it was not quality of driving that brought you to attention of the police, rather it was a random breath test and returned a reading of 0.072. Your references speak highly of you, your involvement in the community raising money for the hospital, volunteering at the school. The details of the untimely death of the friend and circumstances being revealed to you that prompted you to drink more than you should have. I note this is an occupation prone to people engaging in committing the offence due to the long hours and drinking. My son who is like you an award winning chef and this has the ring of truth to it and the ring of fact. This seems to be an isolated one off incident and given the distressing news you were made privy to, well you’ll have to guard against that so you don’t break your own imposed rule. I understand the unsocial hours you work to provide a service to other people and the lack of public transport.” The matter was proved and Mr Selwood was given a nine month good behaviour bond.

STEPHENS, Tarnya, a 25 year old from Merriwa had one count of stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm, two counts of common assault, one count of behave in offensive manner in/near public place/school and two counts of fail to appear in accordance with bail acknowledgment. The Magistrate said, “I note that apart from these matters there is nothing else on your record.” The offences occurred following a person posted disparaging remarks about Ms Stephens character on a Facebook page, but the post was taken down. On hearing the allegations Magistrate Prowse said any reasonable person would have been rightly extremely annoyed at the allegations. However Magistrate Prowse said there were more appropriate ways to address the situation. “You can over react or react in a lawful way,” he said. He recounted a recent situation where the Sydney Morning Herald made a tweet and Justice MacCallum described the case against the Sydney Morning Herald as extremely strong “and that is the right way to do it.” An alternative approach he recommended was, “this is what this woman is saying about me and I’d like to take out a restraining order, rather than just carrying on the way in which you did. It didn’t work did it? Is the other person here? No, just you. Think of better ways of dealing with inane stupidity in the future.” Ms Stephens was convicted of stalk/intimidate intend to cause fear and given an 11 month good behaviour bond, fined $500 for common assault, convicted with no penalty imposed for behave in offensive manner and also for fail to appear in accordance with bail and lastly a $200 fine for the second fail to appear in accordance with bail.

STORUM, Keith, a 78 year old from Box Hill had a charge of drive motor vehicle while licence suspended. The matter was adjourned to Blacktown on October 12. Magistrate Prowse noted in adjourning the case that “Blacktown is a good place to get injured.”

TOWNS, Jackson Mark, a 21 year old from Wingen pled guilty to a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol. On August 6 at approximately 3:05am Mr Towns was subjected to a random breath test in Coolibah Street, Scone and returned a reading of 0.137. The Magistrate asked why Mr Towns had not slept in his car to which Mr Towns agreed he should have slept in the car. He noted Mr Towns’ parents had been driving him to work and asked them if they liked lattes, to which Ms Towns said she did and Mr Towns said he preferred straight black. Magistrate Prowse then directed  Jackson Towns to take his parents down the street and thank them, “perhaps even a  slice of orange cake would be good.” Mr Towns was given a 15 month good behaviour bond. Magistrate Prowse asked how long Mr Towns thought he should be of good behaviour to which Mr Towns responded “all the time.” Magistrate Prowse suggested that he should continue to be of good behaviour “until you hear the last screw go into the lid” of your coffin.

WARD, Adam Ronald, a 35 year old from Muswellbrook had charges of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol, drive motor vehicle during disqualification period and disobey no entry sign-motor vehicle. The alleged offences occurred on August 6 in Scone and the breathe analysis was 0.099. Mr Ward was directed to obtain a treatment plan and Magistrate Prowse advised, “act as though the treatment plan is in place and be fully engaged. Don’t make a mistake of driving anything!” The matter was adjourned until December 21.

WHITE, Zeph, a 22 year old from Manilla had charges of drive vehicle, illicit drug present in blood and drive vehicle under influence of alcohol. The alleged offences occurred on December 12, 2016 in Scone on the New England Highway, when he returned a reading for cannabinol. Mr White will attend the traffic offenders program in Newcastle on September 30 and the matter was adjourned until October 19. Magistrate Prowse said, “I wouldn’t be making the mistake of driving again as if you get pulled over you won’t be driving away.”

WILLIAMS-EDMISTON, Louisa, a 20 year old from Merriwa appealed to the local court a decision of the Roads and Maritime Services for licence suspension. The matter was adjourned until October 19.

WYBORN, Corby David, a 20 year old from Scone had a charge of learner/P1/P2 driver not wear seatbelt properly adjusted. Magistrate Prowse asked Mr Wyborn if the seatbelt had been fixed, which Mr Wyborn said it had. The Magistrate continued, “I am the coroner here and I’ve already had to deal with five deaths this morning and I don’t want to deal with you in the afternoon.” The matter was adjourned until December 21.