COMM 2654: COURT REPORTING #2

contempt, magistrates

Anastasia McInerney

September 23, 2015

Myrtleford Times

Custody over infringement offences 

A Myrtleford man was awarded bail after being held in custody over unpaid fines at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The defendant was in court over infringements accumulated in 2015, but no plea has been submitted.

The accused previously served six weeks imprisonment for contempt after he posted comments on Facebook, made statements in a radio broadcast and emailed officers of the County Court, the Supreme Court ruled.

“I have not seen something like this in my 20 years experience,” Magistrate Tom Maloney said.

“Being held in custody for warrants of unpaid fines is unusual.”

An affidavit provided to the court to assess unacceptable risk factors included a statement by Justice Stephen William Kaye of the Supreme Court from last April.

Magistrate Moloney said Justice Kay was “on the money” about the ruling of the defendant’s trial.

The accused did not provide information about employment or family residence while on bail for contempt, and was found in Queensland on August 5 last year.

He breached bail after his release in January last when he failed to report to the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court in July.

Justice Kay said the defendant had a “lack of rationality”, was “unintelligible” and had a “bizarre and disordered leaving of reasoning or lack thereof”.

The defendant had drug and alcohol related issues, as well as suffering from bowel, kidney and gaul stones while in custody.

Because the defendant was not on a social circumstances list and did not “deal well with intimidation” at the Port Phillip Prison, Magistrate Maloney ordered an appointment with a psychiatrist.

The accused’s lawyer told the court he came from a “close loving family”, with the mother, wife, brother and nephew present on the day.

The defendant’s brother gave up his residence to cover the $10,000 fine if the accused was to breach his bail.

While on bail, the defendant was to remain in Australia and not travel interstate, surrendering any passport or valid travel documents.

The defendant was to report to the Murtleford police station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 6 am and 9 pm.

The defendant’s remand date was to be in October at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

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