Bid for re­lease from a high se­cu­rity cell

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY NEWS AND VIEWS -

A PRISONER who made a des­per­ate bid to have his charges dealt with with­out legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion will re­main in a high se­cu­rity pri­son sec­tion af­ter be­ing un­suc­cess­ful in his at­tempt.

Peter John Burns ap­peared in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day via a video link with the Capri­cor­nia Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre where he has been since shortly af­ter his ar­rest on Fe­bru­ary 15.

The 57-year-old Mt Ju­lian man is ac­cused of fraud, re­ceiv­ing tainted prop­erty, im­proper use of an emer­gency call ser­vice and us­ing a Tel­stra ser­vice to threaten to kill. Last week he told mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist th­ese were all ma­li­cious al­le­ga­tions but this week he told mag­is­trate Ron Muir­head he wanted to plead guilty and be dealt with straight away. “Your Hon­our, I’ve been in this high se­cu­rity pri­son for five weeks now – I want it dealt with to­day,” he said.

Burns told the court his legal aid ap­pli­ca­tion had been re­fused and he was happy to pro­ceed with­out a solic­i­tor but po­lice pros­e­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Smith said the legal aid de­ci­sion was be­ing re­viewed “and it’s likely a grant will come through”. Mr Muir­head told Burns his pa­role had been re­voked so re­gard­less of Mon­day’s out­come he would re­main in pri­son un­til his full-time dis­charge date in July 2015.

Mr Muir­head said he ap­pre­ci­ated Burns’ sit­u­a­tion with re­spect to be­ing held in high se­cu­rity un­til sen­tence was passed “but that’s out of my con­trol”.

“I think you should have a solic­i­tor,” he said.

The charges were ad­journed to April 7 when Burns will again ap­pear via video link.

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