The Chronicle

No trial? That’s treason: accused


WHAT should have been a simple court hearing descended into chaos, as a man warned a magistrate he would be “committing treason” and demanded a trial by jury.

The bizarre scene played out in Murgon Magistrate­s Court, when Jason Shane Bird’s charge of obstructin­g police was mentioned.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair was asking Bird, who appeared via phone link, whether he had received a brief of evidence.

Bird, who said he was representi­ng himself, told the court he had received the evidence but immediatel­y began accusing the police of lying, noting sections of the brief contradict­ed each other.

When the magistrate told him this was not relevant to the hearing, Bird said he had yet to receive evidence from police that the Mental Health Act had “gone through the proper ratificati­on process”.

Mr Sinclair was clearly not swayed, simply reminding Bird that it was a matter of law and the police did not have to provide evidence.

But Bird wouldn’t have it, and demanded to know whether the magistrate “stood under the constituti­on of the Commonweal­th of Australia being the highest law in this country”.

He went on to declare that as Queensland had no senate, he believed no laws could be passed without breaching the constituti­on, and that he was requesting a jury trial.

Mr Sinclair told Bird he would need to appear in person to make an argument as to why he needed a jury trial. This caused Bird to warn the magistrate that “you’re committing treason” if he did not grant a jury trial.

Mr Sinclair told Bird he would need to attend the court on September 24 – and if he did not attend he would be convicted in his absence.

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