Glenroy man declines to front magistrate on string of charges | The Border Mail


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A Glenroy man in jail bail refused over an alleged police pursuit remains undecided on whether he will fight the matters in court. Braedon Kane Williams’ matters went before Albury Local Court magistrate Richard Funston on Monday morning. But the 32-year-old did not, declining to appear in court – which has only just returned after the Christmas break – via a video link to Junee jail. IN OTHER NEWS Williams is facing 20 charges in relation to the alleged high-speed chase across Albury eight days ago. Defence lawyer Sascha McCorriston said Williams had decided against making an application for bail “and doesn’t wish to come on screen”. But Ms McCorriston said Williams had provided her with instructions about the legal course he wanted to take. She said he had requested a two week-adjournment “so he can go through the very lengthy police facts with Legal Aid”. His preferred date for a return of the case to court was January 25, which was then set by Mr Funston – who formally refused bail for Williams. RELATED: Braedon Kane Williams faces court charged with 20 offences Williams’ lengthy list of charges includes several second counts of driving while disqualified, second offences charges of police pursuit, using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, destroy or damage property, refuse or fail to submit to the taking of a blood sample, supplying a prohibited drug at greater than an indictable but less than a commercial quantity, dangerous driving and goods in custody. He is accused of leading police on a pursuit on January 4 from about 3.30pm. This was soon called off out of safety concerns, but the NSW police air wing continued to track Williams. He was arrested after his Holden VF Commodore went into a brick wall in the driveway of a Glenroy house about 6pm. It has been alleged that Williams had driven at high speed on the wrong side of the road during the pursuit, narrowly missing several cars. Police further claim Williams was in possession of methamphetamine, $1000 cash and driver licences.

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Dylan Grimes’ online abuser slammed by magistrate for vile threats


A magistrate has slammed a “keyboard warrior” who sent abuse on social media to Richmond player Dylan Grimes, causing the Tigers’ defender to fear for his family’s safety.

Andrew Alexander was let off without conviction in the Ringwood Magistrates Court on Wednesday as long as he remains of good behaviour for six months, donates $1000 to the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, and writes a “genuine” letter of apology.

He had been charged with stalking and using a carriage service to harass.

Police said the “passionate Essendon Football Club supporter” sent the messages after the August 22 Dreamtime game in Darwin between the Bombers and the Tigers.

Grand Final

“During the game, the accused drank alcohol heavily and became disgruntled at the umpiring of the game and the eventual result,” police said.



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Former magistrate Bob Harrap jailed for corruption, three co-accused penalised


Former South Australian magistrate Bob Harrap will serve at least 12 months behind bars for corruption offences described by a District Court judge as striking “at the heart of the justice system”.

Judge Paul Slattery condemned the conduct of the ex-Christies Beach judicial officer, who pressured or bullied three women — a court clerk, police prosecutor and solicitor — to help him commit his crimes.

He said Harrap’s lewd and inappropriate comments towards his clerk Melanie Jane Freeman, so that she would take the rap for his speeding fine, had “sexual overtones” and were “particularly egregious”.

Harrap was sentenced to 18 months’ jail with a non-parole period of 12 months, but Judge Slattery refused to suspend the term or order it be served on home detention.

“You were a judicial officer who has committed criminal offences — those acts alone are to give rise to public disquiet about the integrity of the judicial system,” he said.

“On three separate occasions, you ignored your role as a judicial officer and your solemn oath.”

Harrap pressured Freeman and his girlfriend, former police prosecutor Abigail Rebecca Foulkes, to hand over their driver’s licence details so they took demerit points for him after he racked up two speeding fines in his government-issued car.

He did so to avoid a licence disqualification.

In a separate incident, Harrap advised probate lawyer Catherine Jayne Moyse — his former girlfriend — about how to prepare an appeal before insisting he preside over the same case, creating a potential conflict of interest.

In sentencing, the judge considered Harrap’s long-standing career as a magistrate, charity work with Inclusion Sport SA and his relationship with his 28-year-old disabled daughter.

Foulkes receives good behaviour bond

A woman with short hair wearing a grey jacket being trailed by reporters outside a court building
Abigail Foulkes lost her job at SA Police last month.(ABC News: Meagan Dillon)

In sentencing Foulkes, Judge Slattery said the 48-year-old was in a relationship with Harrap and was the acting sergeant of prosecution services and based at the Murray Bridge Police Station when she committed the offence.

Foulkes, who immigrated from the United Kingdom in 2007, was sacked from SA Police on November 27.

“The plan to nominate you as the driver of the vehicle was conceived by Mr Harrap,” Judge Slattery said to Foulkes, who was visibly upset in the dock.

But he said she was emotionally pressured to hand over the licence details after Harrap sent her a text message, saying: “You do not have to take the points, but there will be consequences”.

The court heard the consequences referred to him being unable to drive to work or see his disabled daughter.

“At the time, you were a senior serving police officer. You knew what you were doing was wrong and it constituted an offence,” Judge Slattery said.

Foulkes was convicted and placed on a 12-month good-behaviour bond after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting Harrap commit deception.

Freeman placed on bond, avoids conviction

A woman walking behind another woman outside a court building
Court clerk Melanie Freeman (right) pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Harrap to commit deception.(ABC News: Meagan Dillon)

Judge Slattery accepted that Freeman was bullied, isolated and groomed to hand over her licence details to her boss, who had considerable power over her.

The mother-of-three was assigned to Harrap at the Christies Beach Magistrates Court in February 2019 and became dependent on him because she was resented by other staff.

“You felt unwelcome at the Christies Beach Magistrates Court and over time, these difficulties increased and compounded,” Judge Slattery said.

“Over time, you got used to Mr Harrap’s court practices and his demeanour and you were aware of the aggressive way he sometimes behaved in court and you came to the view that you had no hope if you needed to confront him.”

Judge Slattery said Harrap asked Freeman to disclose her licence details in February 2019, but she did not take it seriously.

“[Harrap] suggested, for example, that you might create a story that you were having an affair and that is why you were driving the car.”

The court heard Freeman reported that matter to her superiors, but she never heard anything back.

Judge Slattery said that, in March 2020, Harrap made the same request but was putting considerable pressure on Freeman, who felt trapped after he made comments about “sticking his neck out” to get her to the southern suburbs courthouse.

Freeman avoided conviction and was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting Harrap to commit deception.

Moyse fined for conspiring

Catherine Jayne Moyse walks outside a courthouse next to a man
Catherine Jayne Moyse (centre) avoided conviction but was fined $600.(ABC News: Meagan Dillon)

The court heard Moyse — a probate and estate solicitor — was asked by a family friend to represent their son on an appeal against a driving disqualification.

Judge Slattery said Moyse asked Harrap to help her prepare the appeal and give general advice about how to argue the case given she was not a criminal lawyer.

But he said Harrap insisted on also presiding over the appeal, creating a potential conflict of interest.

He said the lawyer also twice raised the issue with Harrap directly, who responded that he did not see any issue with presiding over the case and she trusted his judgement.

Moyse — who will have to show cause before the Supreme Court to continue to be able to practice law — avoided conviction and was fined $600 for conspiring with Harrap so he could improperly exercise his power.



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Former magistrate Bob Harrap ‘exaggerated’ involvement with disabled daughter, court hears


Former magistrate Bob Harrap “significantly exaggerated” the level of care he gave to his disabled daughter “in an effort to secure leniency”, the South Australian District Court has been told.

On Friday, the court heard Harrap will not challenge his ex-wife and eldest daughter’s claim he has limited involvement with his disabled daughter.

The court previously heard he required his driver’s license to care for his disabled daughter.

Suspended police prosecutor Abigail Foulkes, 48, and court clerk Melanie Freeman, 46, have faced the District Court ahead of sentencing later this month.

They were charged alongside Harrap and defence lawyer Catherine Moyse after a probe by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) in June.

All four co-accused have pleaded guilty to corruption offences.

Catherine Jayne Moyse (centre) is one of four people co-accused, along with former Magistrate Bob Harrap.(ABC News: Meagan Dillon)

Judge Paul Slattery was told Foulkes and Freeman felt pressured to hand over their driver’s licence numbers to Harrap so he could get out of two speeding fines and avoid losing his licence.

On Friday, Prosecutor Peter Longson told Judge Slattery that “it’s open for this court to find that Mr Harrap has significantly exaggerated his actual involvement with the care of [his disabled daughter] in 2020, in an effort to secure leniency”.

“The Director submits that is a matter that can go to the issue of personal deterrence and could be reflected in the ultimate sentence imposed, Your Honor.”

Harrap is due to be sentenced in two weeks.



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Canberra magistrate Bernadette Boss complained Supreme Court made it impossible to protect children



A Canberra magistrate’s exasperated warning she is “no longer in a position to protect children” from parents who beat them has been revealed after an appeal against one of her decisions.

Magistrate Bernadette Boss made the remarks — aimed at the ACT Supreme Court — in June, while hearing the case of a mother who slapped, pinched and punched her 11-year-old son.

During the hearing, lawyers for the woman presented an appeal against an earlier decision by Dr Boss, in which the Supreme Court set aside the sentence she imposed and replaced it with a non-conviction order with 12-months’ good behaviour.

In that case, a mother had hit her seven-year-old son with a shoe after he lost some of his toys, leaving him with “significant” bruising.

The outcome of the appeal had been published just two days before the sentencing hearing.

After being presented with the documents in court, Dr Boss believed the Supreme Court’s overturning of her sentence meant she had to sentence the 11-year-old’s mother in a similar fashion, despite her concern it was too lenient.

“OK, children are clearly not to be protected in this jurisdiction. I know I’ll probably get into trouble for making that remark, but I find that absolutely remarkable in the extreme,” she told the June sentencing hearing.

“A child in this jurisdiction can be assaulted and actual bodily harm can be occasioned to them, and that is still not serious enough to be beyond a section 17 [non-conviction order].

“My hands are tied. I’m virtually forced into a section 17 in this case.”

Dr Boss said she wished the Supreme Court judge who overturned her original sentence, Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson, would join her to hear family violence cases in the lower court.

“With all due respect to her Honour, I wish she would come and sit in the family violence list,” she said.

Dr Boss is set to leave the ACT Magistrates Court, having recently been appointed as the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention.

Magistrate could have used discretion: Judge

Justice Loukas-Karlsson’s decision in the appeal took into account the fact the seven-year-old’s mother was facing other stresses in her life.

“The appellant’s serious personal stress and emotional strain had caused an uncharacteristic lapse of judgement, as a result of which the appellant committed the offence,” she said.

After seeing that judgement, Dr Boss sentenced the 11-year-old’s mother to a 12-month good behaviour order with no conviction recorded.

She interpreted the Supreme Court decision to mean first-time assaults on children, even if they resulted in bruising, should not result in convictions.

But prosecutors then appealed that decision to the Supreme Court as well, arguing it was too lenient.

In a decision published this week, Justice David Mossop found Dr Boss had been wrong to believe the first appeal left her with no option but to issue a non-conviction order.

“In my view, her Honour erred in approaching the matter on the basis that the sentence [in the first appeal] was a binding precedent,” he said.

But he ultimately found that while Dr Boss could have used her discretion, the final sentence was right for the woman’s case.



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Magistrate throws out ‘outrageous’ case where NSW Police officer threatened to break man’s legs after unlawful arrest



A Canberra court has heard a NSW Police officer threatened to break a man’s legs during an illegal arrest by himself and another officer in the ACT.

Charges against Allan Eric Watts, 48, were thrown out of the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday after Magistrate Bernadette Boss ruled the NSW officers had no authority to make the arrest in the territory and had therefore acted unlawfully.

Dr Boss described the conduct as “outrageous” and “unprofessional”, and said she was amazed any interstate police officers could “think they can stride around this territory and act as vigilante enforcers”.

Police had no rights to record or arrest man

According to the police statement of facts, Mr Watts was disqualified from driving after being convicted for drug driving in May 2019.

In April this year, in the early hours of the morning, police alleged Mr Watts rode a motorcycle into a service station in Hume, an ACT suburb near the border with New South Wales.

NSW Police officers who saw him believed he was unlicensed and drug affected and detained him until ACT police could arrive an hour later.

He was arrested and charged with driving while disqualified, possessing a knife, and a breach of good behaviour.

Mr Watts spent two weeks behind bars before he was granted bail.

But in the case before court on Tuesday, defence barrister Jack Pappas argued his client had been threatened, spoken to roughly, and held against his will because the officers were not from ACT Policing and had no jurisdiction.

Mr Pappas said a police body-worn camera recording showed his client wander away from officers and was told to stay where he was.

The court heard Mr Watts replied: “I’m not going to run”, and an officer responded: “You’re not going to run, because if I catch you, I’m going to break your legs.”

Mr Pappas argued the recording had been illegal as the camera’s use was restricted to their duties as police in NSW — not the ACT.

The prosecutor admitted the officers were not special constables in the ACT, but argued they had been acting in good faith and could not in good conscious let Mr Watts leave while they suspected he was under the influence.

Magistrate Boss said without rights of arrest as police, the officers would have had to detain Mr Watts under the common law — which means he had to be committing or has just committed an offence.

“You can’t conduct a citizen’s arrest on suspicion,” she said.

“[This was] a terrible imposition on [his] liberties.”

Dr Boss said the unlawful arrest meant the majority of the evidence was inadmissible and the footage of the officer’s threat was not tendered.

In response, the prosecutor offered no evidence and the charges against Mr Watts were dismissed.

Defendant to take civil action against police

Outside court, defence lawyer Tom Taylor said the conduct by the NSW police officers had been “reprehensible”.

“What makes this matter particularly egregious is the threat made by NSW Police to break my client’s legs,” Mr Taylor said.

“The threat was disgraceful. My client was pleading to sit down because his feet were hurting and telling the officer he was not going to run away.

Mr Taylor said the case was a reminder that police officers were not “a law unto themselves”.

“Above all others, with their broad powers entrusted on them by parliament, police officers should be careful to know when is it lawful or appropriate to exercise their powers,” he said.

“If not on duty and in their own jurisdiction they do not carry some special powers and rights beyond any other citizen.”

The defence lawyer said his client was relieved the charges had been dismissed, and they would now take civil action against the NSW Police.

“It’s something he never should have endured,” Mr Taylor said.



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Former SA magistrate Bob Harrap at ‘inevitable risk’ if sent to prison, court hears



A former magistrate would be placed at “inevitable risk” if he is sent to prison for deception offences, the South Australian District Court has been told.

Bob Harrap is one of four people who’ve pleaded guilty, following an investigation by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

Mr Harrap and lawyer Catherine Moyse admitted to conspiring to abuse public office over a court matter, while Mr Harrap also admitted to deceiving the courts in a bid to avoid demerit points over traffic fines.

In submissions on sentencing, defence lawyer David Edwardson QC said he worried for Mr Harrap’s safety.

“There is no doubt as a longstanding magistrate, a custodial sentence would place my client at high risk, inevitable risk, and there is always the prospect of him being systematically targeted by prisoners,” defence lawyer David Edwardson QC said.

Mr Edwardson said his client was deeply remorseful for his conduct, which had involved an attempt to keep his licence while he travelled vast distances to suburban and regional courthouses, as well as the care of a daughter with a disability.

“He’s been punished enormously by the mere fact of admitting to that conduct, and he’s lost his job.”

Harrap not entitled to ‘get out of jail free card’: prosecutor

Prosecutor Peter Longson rejected most of the defence arguments, even unsuccessfully calling for the judge to revoke Mr Harrap’s bail immediately.

“As tragic as the circumstances are with his daughter, they are not unique — many people who come before the courts have circumstances of that kind who are going to be impacted by the imposition of a penalty.”

A lawyer for Ms Moyse pleaded that no conviction be recorded for her wrongdoing, saying she still enjoyed the support and confidence of a vast section of the legal profession.

Court clerk Melanie Freeman and police prosecutor Abigail Foulkes also pleaded guilty for their roles in the issue.

All four are expected to be sentenced in November.



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‘CRAZY, UNFAIR’: Former magistrate fights for law change 



FORMER Lismore magistrate David Heilpern believes it’s “crazy and unfair” those who are on a prescription for medicinal cannabis cannot drive.

It’s been more than four years since NSW doctors were first permitted to prescribe medicinal cannabis.

But those legally accessing cannabis risk hefty penalties if they ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

 

<< Former Lismore magistrate doesn’t always agree with the law >>

<< ‘CRUEL’ ADVICE: Drug-driving site slammed as ‘misleading’ >>

 

Mr Heilpern, who has retired from the bench, has been lobbying for legislative change.

Distinct from driving under the influence of an illicit substance, driving with an illicit drug present in your blood is an offence that doesn’t require you to be affected by the substance.

People fronting court on the latter charge often report having not consumed the drug days prior to their roadside test.

This law is resulting in actions Mr Heilpern argues has no bearing on road safety leave drivers with fines and licence disqualifications.

“There is a bill before the parliament of Victoria to exclude those with a prescription from the drug detection laws – although not of course from the ‘drive under influence’ provisions,” Mr Heilpern said.

“I am lobbying to have the same provision in NSW.

“It seems crazy and unfair that those who are on a prescription for cannabis cannot drive even when not adversely affected.

“The dosage is daily, so it simply means that if you are one of the thousands who have been prescribed cannabis you cannot drive at all.”

In lobbying for change, Mr Heilpern has been seeking people who have received a cannabis prescription and have been adversely affected by drug-driving laws.

He said “dozens” had already been in touch with him, and this is nothing new.

While he was a Magistrate, defendants would “bring their prescriptions to court and seek mercy”.

Mr Heilpern said he’s pushing for a broad change to our current laws, but he’s hopeful there could be some reprieve in the pipeline for patients.

“My view is clear that the law needs to be changed,” Mr Heilpern said.

“But I understand that it is a step-by-step process, with huge vested interests in the status quo.

“I think we should start where the case is strongest, and those who are medicinal users as opposed to recreational users have an unassailable case to be excused from these laws.

“Who would argue that a person who takes an approved medicine cannot drive at all even when it has no adverse affect on their driving ability?

“I have yet to see even the most rabid anti-drug advocate make that suggestion.”

Police and road safety officials have repeatedly cited road safety concerns to justify the laws as they stand, but Mr Heilpern said he was yet to see evidence the presence of minuscule detectable amounts of a drug contributed to road casualties.

“The best that they can do is trot out two tired old arguments – that we don’t want drug affected drivers on the road, and that drug users are over represented in fatalities,” he said.

“Both are of course true, but are no justification for penalising those who drive with infinitesimal and immaterial levels of drugs in their systems.

“The first argument is met by the existing ‘drive under the influence’ laws.

“The second shows only that a cohort of drug users are irresponsible on the road.

“That should not be news to anyone.

“A sub-set of drinkers is irresponsible too.

“We don’t stop all drinkers from driving. Affectation is the key.”





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Police prosecutor pleads guilty to deception over magistrate Bob Harrap’s traffic fines


A South Australian police prosecutor has pleaded guilty to deception stemming from the use of former magistrate Bob Harrap’s government-issued car.

Sergeant Abigail Foulkes pleaded guilty in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to one count of deception, and is the fourth accused to admit to an offence following a probe by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) in June.

District Court Judge Stephen McEwen accepted Foulkes’s pleas through her lawyer, which meant she did not have to stand up and say: “guilty”.

Last week, her co-accused — Harrap and court clerk Melanie Freeman — were required to stand and personally enter their guilty pleas.

Foulkes has been placed on administrative duties within South Australia Police.

Bob Harrap pleaded guilty to offences committed when he was a magistrate.(ABC News)

Harrap, Foulkes and Freeman have all pleaded guilty to deception by misrepresenting who was driving Harrap’s government-issued car when it racked up traffic fines on two separate occasions.

The former judicial officer obtained a benefit from the misrepresentation by avoiding losing his driver’s licence.

Claire O’Connor SC, for Freeman, told the court her client was “coerced” into the offending and was “aiding and abetting” Harrap.

“My client is very keen to have the matter dealt with,” she said.

In separate offending, Harrap and lawyer Catherine Moyse pleaded guilty to conspiring to abuse public office in relation to a court matter in May.

Harrap was arrested in June and resigned from his position as a magistrate less than two weeks later.

All four will face sentencing in the District Court.



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IN COURT: 72 people facing the magistrate today



THE following is a list of individuals appearing in Coffs Harbour Local Court on criminal charges today, August 24. Individuals innocent until proven guilty.

– Laura Elizabeth Toth

– Joseph Fry

– Brendon Luke Rainbow

– Susan Joyce Button

– Amelia Helen Ellis

– Annie Lloyd

– Julie Anne O’Driscoll

– Cameron Paul Hayne

– James Sebastian Clarke

– David Luke North

– Nathan Dyson

– Cherie Cook

– Gum Joseph Mayak

– Kristy Brain

– Ghazy Faisal Khudida Halou

– Luke Alkatron Le Bree

– Kane Lee Lucas James

– Michael Lee Duckett

– James Michael Clune

– Samantha Elise Ryder

– Janine Bowie

– Blake Ferguson

– Ruarai Choncubhair

– Andrew Spencer Bell

– Nathan Cheal

– Matthew David Privato

– Colin John Bartlett

– Taylah Elkins-Baker

– Bryce Desmond Baff

– Daniel James McNamara

– Scott Richard Bullock

– Joel William Bracher

– Robert James Skinner

– Alicia Macas

– Than Chawng Lian Ching

– Christopher Wayne Stokes

– Daniel John Lavender

– Rex Jo Clarke

– David Benjamin Thompson

– Dale Robert Kennedy

– Cheyne Robert Rogan

– Steven John Adams

– Casey Hodgson

– Toby Marshall

– Hamish Victor Buchanan-Roustan

– Bruan Nevins

– Darren Fitzgerald

– Dominique Jaguar Dunia

– Averil Loretta Batterson

– Brett Douglas Roberts

– Masika Jeannine Kambere

– Simon Peter Corey

– Frank George Woods

– Khan Carter

– Sidney James Skinner

– Huon Victor Hannaford

– Kylie Dee Talbot

– Carly Dolar

– Marvin Hita

– Jake Carmody

– Kye Willmott

– Peter Allan Green

– Sam Kesur

– Justin McKay

– Rebecca Louise Wiseman

– Daniel Ryan

– Rayden Kennedy

– Heath Joseph Bennett

– Dianne Marie Bassford

– Luke Matthew Robilliard

– Donna Louise Oxborough

– Lindsay Bruce Charles





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