Charges dropped

Po­lice drop charge against Mandurah Aus­tralian of the Year.

Mandurah Coastal Times - - NEWS -

PO­LICE have dropped a charge against Mandurah Ci­ti­zen of the Year Al­li­son Dixon, claim­ing pur­su­ing the charge was not in the pub­lic in­ter­est.

Ms Dixon was charged in June with fail­ing to obey an of­fi­cer’s re­quest to re­main away from a pre­scribed burns site in Ersk­ine. Mandurah of­fi­cer-in-charge Darren Hart said no in­ter­est resided in pro­ceed­ing with the charge, al­though the ev­i­dence was quite strong.

“It was dropped based on the fact we didn’t think it was in the pub­lic in­ter­est to con­tinue with the pros­e­cu­tion,” he said.

Ms Dixon told the Times in June she was or­dered to move on by po­lice dur­ing pre­scribed burns in Ersk­ine on May 16.

Ms Dixon, who de­scribes her­self as a fauna re­lo­ca­tor and carer, vis­ited the pre­scribed burns area, which was about 100m long and 10m wide, af­ter she saw thick smoke.

She said the pre­scribed burns were oc­cur­ring di­rectly be­hind a wet­land ecosys­tem.

She was or­dered to move on from the park and claims she com­plied, but re­vis­ited the area a few hours later that same day.

She said she was help­ing to move a fire hose to ex­tin­guish pre­scribed burns in a pos­sum-in­hab­ited marri tree at Len Howard Con­ser­va­tion Park.

The charges were dropped on June 27 and were for­mally dropped in Mandurah Mag­is­trates Court last Fri­day.

“I ex­pected it – it’s not a badge of hon­our,” Ms Dixon said.

“What the of­fi­cer saw that night and in­ter­preted was dif­fer­ent to what I did.”

Ms Dixon said she made sub­mis­sions to the pros­e­cu­tion to drop the charge.

“My sub­mis­sions made to po­lice were that I wasn’t in­ter­fer­ing in putting out the fire in any shape or form,” she said.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Al­li­son Dixon had been or­dered to move on by po­lice dur­ing pre­scribed burns in Ersk­ine on May 16. d483485

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