District court delays in Bay
HERVEY Bay District Court’s list is clogging up with names due to delays in the psychological testing of some accused individuals.
Three defendants who were scheduled to have criminal matters dealt with this month, will now have to wait until next year because of funding issues.
A legal representative of two of the three clients, solicitor Daniel Ould, said the psychological assessments have not been done because an appropriate psychologist has been unable to visit the Fraser Coast area.
Mr Ould told Judge John Robertson in Hervey Bay District Court last week that a psychologist was organised to travel to the region but ultimately could not commute because of funding difficulties with Legal Aid Queensland.
Judge Robertson expressed his desire for quicker, simpler psychological processes so more cases could be heard.
“I make a plea for all judges; shorter psychological reports, more focused,” Mr Robertson said.
The three defendants affected by the delays are Timmy Patrick Sawyer, 25, of Urangan; Errioll Ann Witney, 66, of Scarness; and Joshua James Disney, 20, of Pialba.
Ms Witney pleaded guilty earlier this year in Hervey Bay District Court to a charge of fraud of more than $30,000, and is awaiting sentencing.
Mr Patrick is facing a charge of serious animal cruelty, allegedly committed to a cat.
Mr Disney is charged with numerous violent offences. All three are on bail.
Their matters are expected to be heard at the February sitting of Hervey Bay District Court.