Cop slammed for ‘ignoring’ court order
A SENIOR magistrate has vented his frustration over unnecessary delays in drug cases, calling on a Mackay plain clothes constable to explain why he "ignored" a court order.
Last year Magistrate Damien Dwyer ordered the brief of evidence against Jamie Lee Westman to be ready by January 14.
Not only was the order not complied with, but an extension of time application was not made as is the required by legislative process, a court heard.
"I thought we'd passed this," Mr Dwyer said.
"After many, many years we had a system in place where these matters, these drugs were being sent off as a matter of course every month.
"And we're still arguing the same thing."
Mackay Magistrates Court heard the PC Constable knew in mid-December he would not be able to comply with the brief of evidence due date.
He was summonsed to appear before Mr Dwyer this week to explain "why the order was just ignored".
"It (was) just complete contempt of court orders, we'll just forget about it, we'll do it when we get around to it," Mr Dwyer said.
"Constable, these orders of the court are the same as a disqualification of a driver's licence, they're not there to choose when you want to comply with them.
"If you want to keep ignoring court orders, your future does not look bright."
Police prosecutions officer in charge Sergeant Jay Merchant said, on behalf of the PC constable, that he had been working with the Mackay Criminal Investigation Branch in "putting together a local practice".
"That will hopefully alleviate some of what your honour has concerns with in relation to these drug matters," Sgt Merchant said.
Mr Westman is facing 12 charges in total including allegedly possessing 19 grams of ice.
The court heard he had been on bail for some of the offences when he was arrested and is now facing fresh charges.
During a bail application his solicitor Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi, of Wallace and Wallace Lawyers, said he would be contesting at least one of the charges and that some risk could be managed by strict bail conditions.
She said her client had admitted to being a drug user and had told her was "so close to getting away" from his addiction.
Ms Adorni-Braccesi told the court he had an appointment booked with Lives Lived Well that had been missed because of his arrest.
The court heard he had received a $100,000 redundancy payout, some of which he had planned to use to start a new business.
But Mr Dwyer said cause had not been shown and denied bail.
A full brief of evidence, including that for the fresh charges, was due on March 20 and the case was adjourned to April 22.