Man still behind bars
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.