Man still be­hind bars

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A MT Ju­lian man ac­cused of fraud, re­ceiv­ing tainted prop­erty, im­proper use of an emer­gency call ser­vice and us­ing a Tel­stra ser­vice to threaten to kill, has told a court th­ese are all ma­li­cious al­le­ga­tions.

Peter John Burns ap­peared in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day via a video link with the Capri­cor­nia Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre where he had been be­hind bars since his ini­tial court ap­pear­ance last month.

The 57-year-old was ar­rested at 5.15pm on Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 15, af­ter po­lice found an­other man al­legedly sell­ing a stolen out­board mo­tor on his be­half.

At his first court ap­pear­ance po­lice pros­e­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Smith sub­mit­ted Burns was an un­ac­cept­able risk of com­mit­ting fur­ther of­fences and in­ter­fer­ing with wit­nesses, based on state­ments he had made to po­lice. Bail was for­mally re­fused.

In court on Mon­day, duty lawyer Lach­lan Ygoa-McKe­own spoke as a “friend of the court”, say­ing he was un­able to act of­fi­cially as Burns was hav­ing dif­fi­culty find­ing funds.

Mr Ygoa-McKe­own sug­gested if Burns sent a signed Legal Aid ap­pli­ca­tion to his of­fice this would help but Burns re­sponded by say­ing he’d al­ready ap­plied for aid and it had been re­fused.

“Which is what I thought,” mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist said, agree­ing the mat­ter should be ad­journed.

“[But] I don’t want to ad­journ it,” Burns replied.

“Mr Burns, you’re not get­ting bail – you’ve got a pa­role prob­lem,” Mr St­jern­qvist said.

Burns, who was hold­ing pages of sub­mis­sions he’d writ­ten on his own be­half, con­tin­ued to press for hav­ing the charges dealt with straight away. “I can’t be­lieve I’m here – some­body stole a mo­tor from my place and I re­ported it to po­lice,” he said.

But Mr St­jern­qvist said the charges re­lat­ing to the mo­tor were “the least of your prob­lems” with the threats to kill made over the phone the far more se­ri­ous of­fence.

“[But] I of­fered the use of my phone... it’s just ma­li­cious al­le­ga­tions,” Burns replied.

Mr St­jern­qvist told Burns “you can’t plead guilty to some­thing and then tell me they’re all a pack of ma­li­cious lies”, de­scrib­ing this as “just an­other grasp for free­dom”.

“We’re go­ing nowhere,” he said, ad­journ­ing the mat­ters to March 30.

Af­ter more de­bate Mr St­jern­qvist agreed to bring the charges for­ward by one week to March 23.

In the mean­time Burns asked “how do I get onto the solic­i­tor Your Hon­our?”

“I don’t know. You seem to be pretty good at us­ing phones. Why don’t you try ring­ing some­one,” Mr St­jern­qvist replied.

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