‘Waste of time’: Magistrate criticises DPP over drug case
A MAGISTRATE has expressed frustration with the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions for "wasting the court's time", during the sentencing of a man on drug charges this week.
When charges left over from a sentencing matter heard in Brisbane Supreme Court were instead referred back to Ipswich Magistrates Court to be dealt with it, it clearly caused the magistrate some annoyance on what was already a busy day.
Nigel Grant Earley, 49, from Bundamba, appeared from jail via video-link before the Ipswich court and pleaded guilty to nine charges that included drug and utensil possession offences, and a breach of his bail.
It was revealed to Magistrate Virginia Sturgess that they were leftover charges from his earlier Supreme Court sentence on February 15 for trafficking in a dangerous drug between July 17 and September 4, 2019. He received a four-year jail sentence.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Andrew Smith told the Ipswich court that one drug possession charge related to May 15, 2019 when Earley was searched at Booval and found with a small quantity of crystal methylamphetamine and a spring-loaded knife.
At the same time he was found with a second bag that held 16.86 grams of methylamphetamine. That more serious drug charge was dealt with in Brisbane Supreme Court.
Then on September 4, 2019 Earley was charged at Tivoli for being in possession of marijuana, a glass water pipes and a cone piece, a syringe, drug utensils, and having category M weapons which included star-shaped knives with sharpened blades.
Snr Const. Smith said some of the marijuana was found floating in the toilet bowl.
Defence lawyer Kelsea Read said Earley when sentenced by the Supreme Court to a four-year jail term and must serve 16 months.
She argued that totality in sentence must be taken into account because the outstanding charges relate to the DPP (Crown) prosecution case.
Ms Read successfully sought for Earley to be convicted only with no further penalty imposed.
"Why was it not dealt with (then)? The DPP has wasted court time," Ms Sturgess said.
She told Earley he had a long history of drug offending that went back to convictions in 1989.
"This could have been dealt with by the Supreme Court," she said.
Ms Sturgess found that there was no point in imposing a further sentence.
Ms Sturgess convicted Earley of the offences only.