Parole board took too long to rule on Gympie man's fate
ONE of Queensland's leading judges has taken a swing at a parole board for failing to rule on a prisoner's case within the required time.
Gympie man Phillip Jeffrey Blackerwas jailed in March 2016 for assaulting a woman, ripping the spoiler off her car and hitting her with it and whipping her with a chain necklace while she drove.
Blacker applied for release on parole in October 2016.
The Central and Northern Queensland Parole Board had 180 days to rule on the application - which could be extended to 210 if more information was required.
But the board did not decide to deny Blacker parole until June 16, 2017 - 242 days after he made the application.
After the 210-day limit had passed, Blacker applied to Brisbane Supreme Court review to find out why the board had taken longer than legally allowed.
Justice Peter Applegarth questioned why the parole board did not make a decision until days before a judicial review.
"It's passing strange that the parole board only makes decisions on the eve of a hearing," he said
"Why is this not made sooner and why was Mr Blacker not made aware of it?
"There is no explanation by the parole board as to why it takes this long."
Justice Applegarth ordered the parole board provide Blacker with a statement of decisions as to why he had been refused parole.
Blacker told the court he was trying to get out of prison to help his family.
But Justice Applegarth warned Blacker his frustration at the parole board should not be seen as support for his application.
Blacker's application was dismissed. The parole board was ordered to pay Blacker's legal costs.