Dis­trict court de­lays in Bay

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - NEWS -

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.

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