Loopholes let accused walk
IT WAS a good day to be in court yesterday if you were accused of an offence and a not-so-great day if your title was Police Prosecutor.
The difficult task Queensland Police have in successfully prosecuting those who are arrested and charged could not have been more apparent yesterday as Sergeant Kath Stagoll came up against a seemingly endless brick wall.
Of the four cases brought before the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court, two were dismissed due to technicalities and one is likely to follow suit.
Shane Maxwell Warren was remanded in custody until his next appearance for separate matters but charges surrounding an alleged break-in and theft were struck out.
The 34-year-old was accused of breaking into a Cypress Street home in the days leading up to or on Australia Day and stealing liquor and jewellery.
The prosecution alleged that officers in Rockhampton had taken a DNA sample from Mr Warren which matched DNA found at the scene.
But Defence lawyer Trinity McGarvie argued that Warren had been in custody for the majority of the period the offence could have occurred and that the police had unlawfully taken the DNA sample as they had not handed the defendant a notice to appear in court beforehand.
She said that made any evidence inadmissible.
Hervey Bay mum Rosemary Susan McCallum was accused of smoking in the car with children in the back seat.
She had previously told the court she had not known there was a law against it.
She had indicated she wished to plead not guilty on that basis and her hearing was set down for yesterday.
But a technical glitch with one of the statements again made the prosecution's evidence inadmissible and Ms McCallum was told she was free to leave.
The last person to take to the stand was 23-year-old Monique Clubb, who has been in custody in Brisbane since being arrested for her alleged part in breaking into a car and stealing a handbag two months ago.
The complainant gave evidence in which she claimed to have seen Ms Clubb standing next to her car after leaving a Main Street office.
She said she yelled out “excuse me, that's my car you are breaking into – **** off” and that upon hearing her screams Ms Clubb and another male turned around and glared at her.
But defence lawyer Trinity McGarvie again came to the rescue and said the arresting officer had told Ms Clubb she was being arrested for unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and not the charges which appeared before the court.
She argued that the original charge had never been dealt with and would have to be before anything else could proceed.
Mr Tatnell said he would give the prosecution until January 12 to see if they still had a case and released Clubb on bail.
The fourth case involved Isaac William Powell, who has been in custody for 45 days after being charged with five offences including serious assault of a police officer.
He was also released on bail.