‘Lenient’ judge Bernadette Callaghan granted transfer
A CONTROVERSIAL Sunshine Coast magistrate whose decisions have been the subject of scrutiny is heading to Brisbane.
A spokesman for the Office of the Chief Magistrate said Bernadette Callaghan would be sitting at the Brisbane Magistrates Court as of Tuesday.
The Office of the Chief Magistrate said the move was not a transfer but was at Ms Callaghan's request.
The move was flagged by a government spokesman yesterday, the same day police media issued a statement saying police had lodged an appeal against one of Ms Callaghan's decisions.
Police will argue that the sentence given to Virgil Power, 29, of Noosaville, for assault occasioning bodily harm was "manifestly inadequate".
Ms Callaghan sentenced Power to 240 hours community service without recording a conviction for punching 23-year-old Michael Halbauer at a Noosa bar.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey welcomed the appeal and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie gave his backing at a press conference.
"I support that decision, because I was reviewing it if the police didn't choose to appeal the sentence," Mr Bleijie said.
"I said at the time I was concerned about that particular sentence and the particular comments that were made by a particular judicial officer so I support the police in their appeal."
Ms Callaghan made headlines last year when she allowed an alleged bikie, Lorne James Campbell, out on bail, and later gave him immediate release upon parole.
Mr Bleijie said at the time Campbell's sentence should be appealed because it was manifestly inadequate, not in line with community expectations, and did not set an adequate deterrent.
A judge this week increased a sentence Ms Callaghan had given to a repeat drink-driver, describing it as "manifestly inadequate" and affected by error.
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