June 12, 2014
A Kingaroy man currently in custody at the Brisbane Correctional Centre on an unrelated matter today successfully applied to the Kingaroy Magistrates Court to re-open proceedings … for failing to wear a helmet while riding a pushbike.
Curtis Dale Hayden, who appeared by videolink from the jail, told Magistrate Mark Bucknall he had not been notified the charge was to be heard and therefore was not present in court at the time.
On March 20, Mr Bucknall dealt with the charge “ex parte” (ie without Hayden being present) and fined him $100.
(This can be a common practice with very minor charges).
Police Prosecutor Sgt Wayne Bushell told the court today it was a simple offence and he could not see why it should be re-opened.
However Hayden said he wanted to contest the charge, saying he had only ridden the pushbike for a few hundred metres along a fence line on Crown land.
He said the conviction had cost him “three points”.
Magistrate Bucknall said he was inclined to grant Hayden leave to re-open the case, partly because the original file for the matter could not be located.
“But is it really worth your while?” he asked.
“Absolutely,” replied Hayden, who was unrepresented by legal counsel.
Mr Bucknall then gave leave for the case to be re-opened.
He asked Hayden if he was willing to “case conference” the matter with police.
“If Mr Bushell wants to talk to me, I am open to that,” Hayden said.
However, Sgt Bushell said he could not case conference with an unrepresented defendant.
Mr Bucknall adjourned the matter to August 7 and ordered a brief of evidence be prepared by the prosecution.
He warned Hayden that if was re-convicted after pleading not guilty, he risked a much heavier penalty than what had been already imposed.