Proserpine Magistrate’s Court
Christine Leanne Barba pleaded guilty to driving while her licence was demerit-point suspended.
The 38-year-old Midge Point resident was caught driving a Ford sedan on Conder Parade at 4.55pm on September 24. The court heard her licence was suspended until October 21 due to the allocation of demerit points. She was fined $220 and disqualified from driving for six months.
Some sort of sport
Stacey Lee Beard sent a letter to the court pleading guilty to a charge of disobeying the speed limit.
The 26-year-old was clocked driving at 121km per hour in a 100 zone on the Bruce Highway at Proserpine, at 9.21am on June 14. In her letter she told the court she had been overtaking a vehicle that increased its speed at the time of the offence.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said he could well believe this, “because there’s idiots out there who think that’s some sort of sport”.
Beard was fined the ticket price of $227.
Ryan Phillip Booth denied “throwing elbows” at a woman in the Airlie CBD, but did plead guilty to a public nuisance charge. The 38-year-old Mackay man was involved in a fight outside the Airlie Beach McDonalds at 2am on September 26.
Police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith said he was seen throwing punches at another man. Ms Smith said security guards told police that Booth had initially approached a woman who ignored him. According to their account, he then pushed his elbow in her face, at which point the other man intervened. Booth disagreed with this account, saying it was possibly his two-metre height that led to this perception.
Nonetheless, magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist noted Booth had a history of public nuisance offences.
“This is the third time in a row that you’ve been before the court for this type of incident,” he said.
Mr Stjernqvist imposed a $660 fine.
Samuel John Cantwell apologised to society for driving while under the influence of alcohol. The 31-year-old local was caught driving a green Ford utility on Garnham Drive, Moranbah, at 11.05pm on July 5. He admitted consuming six drinks that night with his last at 10.55pm.
Cantwell was taken to hospital where he returned a blood alcohol concentration reading of 0.173 per cent.
In a prepared statement, read out to the court, he said it was clear he had made an error of judgement about how intoxicated he was.
“I sincerely regret my actions… I apologise to society and I respectfully accept the punishment imposed by the courts,” he said.
He was fined $880 and disqualified from driving for nine months.
Duty lawyer Sherrie Meade told the court that Wade James Dyson had been using cannabis to provide him with some sort of pain relief.
At 12pm on September 9, police executed a search warrant at Dyson’s Shute Harbour Road address, finding a bowl containing cannabis residue, a homemade water pipe, a grinder, a small set of digital scales and a clip seal bag containing 10.8g of cannabis. Ms Meade said the 37-year-old carpet-layer had suffered a severe injury to his hand a couple of years ago, from which he experienced significant levels of pain.
“Whilst it’s not a legal thing to do Your Honour, he was suffering such excruciating pain, that (cannabis) seemed to be the only thing that would give him some relief,” she said.
Dyson was fined $880.
No more, no less
Just having fun
Richard Juarez Fuentes was driven home from court by a friend, after losing his licence for five months.
At 1.23am on September 29, Fuentes was driving a white Holden Barina on Coconut Grove at Airlie Beach, where he was intercepted by police. He admitted drinking three schooners of beer and four rum and cokes between 3pm and 1.10am and his breath alcohol concentration reading was 0.121 per cent.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist asked him how he had come to court, to which Fuentes replied that he was driven by a friend.
“[Well] don’t upset him for five months – you might need him,” Mr Stjernqvist said.
In addition to the period of disqualification, Fuentes was fined $550.
Cory Robert James Grittner pleaded guilty to driving while his licence was demerit-point suspended. The 20-year-old apprentice plasterer was caught behind the wheel of a black Mazda hatchback on the Bruce Highway at Colosseum, on August 29 at 9.40pm. Checks revealed he was demerit-point suspended until December 10.
Grittner told police he didn’t know about the suspension and believed he was still on a good driving behaviour bond.
Duty lawyer Sherrie Meade argued that Grittner was contesting the two speeding tickets and a ticket for a person under the age of 16 who was not wearing a seatbelt, that had tipped his points accumulation over the edge.
“They’re not me,” Grittner told the court. Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist wasn’t convinced, imposing the only penalty that under the circumstances he could.
Grittner was fined $220 and disqualified from driving for six months.
“Which is the minimum I can give you – no more, no less,” Mr Stjernqvist said.
A domestic pet paved the way for police to charge Donna Lee Murray with possessing a pipe and a homemade bong.
At 8.10pm on September 9, police attended Murray’s Blacks Beach address, where the dog moved the curtain aside allowing them a clear view into the lounge. Here, police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith said they saw a man sitting on the sofa, with a dinner plate full of green leafy material he was packing into a homemade water pipe.
Ms Smith said police entered the property and conducted a search, finding a red pipe and a bong belonging to Murray.
The 43-year-old was fined $220 but no conviction was recorded for the offence.
UK tourist John Patrick-Joseph Sainsbury pleaded guilty in writing to contravening a police direction.
At 2am on September 28, the 25year-old was issued with a move-on direction, requiring him to leave the Airlie CBD until 6am. At 2.50am he was found outside the kebab shop. He allegedly told police he was “just having fun”. He was fined $330 but no conviction was recorded.
Casey Leonard Stinson was not present in court to answer a charge of contravening a police requirement, which was dealt with in his absence.
The court heard that on September 7, the 18-year-old Proserpine resident accepted drug diversion from police. He was given a form requiring him to attend a session at the Proserpine Hospital on September 29.
Police caught up with him on October 10 after he failed to attend.
Police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith said Stinson told police he didn’t know where to go, despite the fact the form contained both the address and a contact telephone number.
“I didn’t even look at the form,” he allegedly said.
He was fined $330 and the conviction was recorded.
A man on a suspended sentence, who was found with a knife and a machete in his car, was warned he was jeopardising his liberty.
Michael John Tyler was seen driving into the Airlie Beach lagoon carpark at 3pm on August 21, in a white Ford four-wheel-drive that had no front number plate.
Tyler and his passenger got out of the car and walked away, but were followed by police.
Tyler’s passenger was arrested after he was found in possession of a cannabis bud and the four-wheeldrive was subsequently searched. The machete and knife were found in what was described as a tool bag, under the front passenger seat.
The court heard that Tyler, who pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place, was already serving two suspended sentences plus periods of probation.
His solicitor Darren Mahoney, from Jacobsen Mahoney Lawyers, said the probation office intended to sanction Tyler in-house and not put him before the court for any breaches.
He said Tyler was not aware that his vehicle was classed as a public place, and in fairness, he was 30-40 metres away from it, when apprehended by police.
Mr Mahoney also claimed the knife and machete were camping items, used to remove lantana from four-wheel-drive tracks.
Furthermore, he claimed this offence was totally different to those for which Tyler received the more serious sentences, which predominantly related to drugs.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist conceded these points and for the offence before the court he imposed a $440 fine. For breaching the suspended sentences, Tyler was sentenced to a ‘rising of the court’, which in layman’s terms, means he was required to remain in the courtroom until proceedings were officially adjourned.
Knowledge and control
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist ruled that Andrew James Walker had “knowledge and control” of cannabis plants and seedlings growing at his Hydeaway Bay home.
At 9.15am on September 25, police executed a search warrant at the address, where another tenant was present. During the search, 3.6g of cannabis seeds, 11 cannabis seedlings and six, one-metre-high cannabis plants in pots were found.
Police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith said when police caught up with Walker on September 26, he denied owning the seedlings and seeds and when questioned about the plants, said “I’ll go to court and take the fine”.
Duty lawyer Sherrie Meade said she was instructed Walker’s tenant had brought the plants with him, but that Walker admitted watering them. She said Walker had since moved out and wasn’t likely to be before the court again.
He was fined $880 but no conviction was recorded.
Darren Wilson pleaded guilty in writing to a charge of contravening a police direction. At 2.35am on September 28, the 43-year-old Mandalay resident was issued with a move-on direction, requiring him to leave the Airlie CBD until 6am. After three warnings to comply with the direction, he was eventually arrested outside the Down Under Bar at 3.20am. He was fined $330 but the conviction was not recorded.