December 11, 2014

A South Burnett couple who refused to send their 15-year-old daughter to school after she claimed she was being bullied, were fined $250 each in Kingaroy Magistrates Court today.

Police Prosecutor Sgt Wayne Bushell said the high school concerned had contacted the parents on a number of occasions, and had arranged meetings with them but they had failed to attend.

The couple’s solicitor told the court the girl had complained of being bullied at school and on a school bus.

The couple alleged their son, who had now left school, had also been bullied by fellow students “and one particular teacher” at the same school.

“They feel they could have done more to help their son but hadn’t,” solicitor Trevor Gibson said.

He said the teacher had been reprimanded twice for incidents involving their son, however, despite this their daughter had ended up in a class with the same teacher.

The school had allegedly ignored requests from the couple that she be moved.

Mr Gibson said his clients had told him the girl had been “in tears every day”, vomiting and emotionally “in a mess”.  She had seen a GP who said the problems were stress-related.

“The decision (to remove her from the school) was not taken lightly and was a decision of last resort,” he said.

He said it had not been possible to move the girl to another high school because one of the bullies had also relocated there.

The couple pleaded guilty to failing to fulfil their obligation to ensure their daughter, who was of compulsory school age, attended school.

Magistrate Simon Young said the maximum penalty for the offence was a $675 fine.

No convictions were recorded.

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A Kingaroy man facing 187 charges has been ordered to re-appear in court on February 2.

The man faces 95 fraud charges and 92 counts of false entry in a record.

His bail was continued.

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A Coverty farmer has been placed on 12 months probation after she pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a Category C weapon (a semi-automatic rifle), a Category A weapon (a double-barrel shotgun), explosives (12 gauge ammunition), cannabis and drug utensils.

Police alleged they found the weapons plus two plastic bongs, a small amount of green leafy matter and 270 cannabis seeds when they visited the property on October 26.

Solicitor Caroline Cavanagh said her client, Kathleen Margaret Graham, looked after two children and the family farm. She was the carer for her husband who had a back injury.

She said Graham used the weapons for livestock management and vermin control.

Magistrate Simon Young said the drugs and weapons charges were “a particularly troubling mix” although no link between the offences had been suggested.

No convictions were recorded.

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A teenager has been remanded on bail to December 18 on weapons charges.

Robert Brett George entered no plea to charges of going armed in public to cause fear, carrying an exposed weapon in a public place, wilful damage and failing to wear a bicycle helmet.

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