Costs adding up over robbery case

THE costs keep adding up over the decision not to allow the speedy resolution of the case of the Pallas St Store armed robbery.

The financial costs to the public and the emotional costs to the victim of the crime could have been mitigated last week if the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had allowed an application to have a guilty plea sentenced as soon as possible.

Solicitor Justin Geldard represents the 28-year-old woman alleged to have held up the Pallas St Store with a knife on May 12.

Mr Geldard made the application for an “ex officio sentencing” which was knocked back by the DPP.

“It's not just the financial costs,” said Mr Geldard, going on to outline how the victim of the robbery will now have to relive the incident by making a detailed statement to the police.

A young female employee of the store was allegedly threatened with a knife before handing over a sum of cash from the till and at the time was said to be “quite shaken up”.

On top of this, taxpayers' pockets will also be lighter because of the DPP decision.

An employee from the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court said it would be impossible to quantify how much public money would go into the further court costs as the case drags on.

Magistrates, clerks and registry staff will all need to be paid.

The police will also be working on this for months longer than they needed to, while a further $2000 will come out of the public pocket for ongoing Legal Aid expenses.

The DPP yesterday afternoon said it could not comment on the case.

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