Two in cus­tody, only one bail

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

OF THE two peo­ple who fronted Proser­pine Mag­is­trates Court af­ter be­ing charged with bur­glary and pos­sess­ing dan­ger­ous drugs, only one would walk free on bail.

The po­lice ver­sion of events al­leges Scott Harold James El­der, 33, and Clau­dia Jeffries, 20, were found in a cy­clone-dam­aged house with the walls cov­ered in spray paint and the taps left run­ning.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Han­nah Beard said the owner of the prop­erty had no­ticed an un­fa­mil­iar car out the front and rung po­lice.

The court heard that in­side Mr El­der’s back­pack was a purse be­long­ing to Ms Jeffries which con­tained 12.1 grams of crys­tals. A pre­sump­tive test said was it metham­phetamine, al­though a pu­rity test was yet to be de­ter­mined.

Mr El­der was also charged with pos­sess­ing ex­plo­sives, driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied by a court or­der, of­fences in­volv­ing reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cates, un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a weapon and con­tra­ven­ing a po­lice re­quire­ment.

Mr El­der faces an un­re­lated pub­lic nui­sance charge from June 5 and the court heard in an ob­jec­tion of bail affidavit that the me­chanic had al­legedly been dodg­ing po­lice.

Duty lawyer El­iz­a­beth Smith said the fa­ther of three was due to start a new job next Mon­day and be­lieved the house to be aban­doned.

“He de­nies ran­sack­ing in re­la­tion to bur­glary, he could hear a tap al­ready run­ning while he was there,” Ms Smith said.

“There is no ev­i­dence paint was on them, that there was wet paint on the walls or spray cans lo­cated with them.”

Ms Smith also said the Air­lie Beach man de­nied he knew about the drug in Ms Jeffries’ purse and be­lieved po­lice were tar­get­ing him.

Mag­is­trate Si­mon Young, how­ever, pointed out this was Mr El­der’s fourth charge of driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied within six months.

One al­leged in­ci­dent hap­pened only one month af­ter he re­ceived a sus­pended pri­son sen­tence for the same of­fence.

Mr Young cited Mr El­der’s “ap­palling his­tory” and con­tin­u­ous dis­re­gard for the court’s author­ity when he found him an un­ac­cept­able risk of re­of­fend­ing and re­fused bail.

Also rep­re­sent­ing Ms Jeffries, Ms Smith told the court the Mackay res­i­dent was only at the house for half an hour af­ter it was sug­gested the pair check out a “hor­ror movie” house.

“She has put down roots in Mackay ... it seems to be only in this area (Air­lie Beach) she gets caught up in trou­ble,” Ms Smith said.

In an ob­jec­tion to bail affidavit po­lice sub­mit­ted a photo of Ms Jeffries on her phone with a glass pipe dated three weeks af­ter she re­ceived a pro­ba­tion or­der for another drug-re­lated of­fence in Mackay.

Mr Young said strict bail con­di­tions, in­clud­ing not vis­it­ing the Air­lie Beach or Can­non­vale area, ran­dom drug test­ing and tri-weekly re­port­ing, would re­duce the risk of Ms Jeffries re­of­fend­ing to a rea­son­able level.

Bail was granted.

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