Bundaberg Court House.
Bundaberg Court House. Mike Knott

Bundy's new magistrate takes a hard line on offenders

BUNDABERG'S newest magistrate isn't letting matters languish in the court, refusing to grant repeated adjournments and enable offenders to delay facing up to the consequences of their offending.

Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan's position couldn't have been clearer during traffic court proceedings yesterday as she laid down the law.

The hard line was initially levelled at one woman facing the single count of driving while SPER suspended, but it was directed at anyone waiting to have their matters heard.

And the message had its desired effect as a number of people initially seeking a lengthy delay were pulled up.

Ms Hartigan's stance was evident as Vittoria Louise Yashiko Wilson asked for another adjournment on the basis that arrangements she'd tried to put in place between her previous court mention and yesterday had fallen through and pleading guilty would leave her with no transport option while she served her punishment - the loss of her licence.

But Ms Hartigan said an offender choosing when a penalty was or wasn't handed down wasn't how the system worked.

"You having no transport is of no concern to the court," she said. 'That's a consequence of the offending."

Ms Hartigan gave Ms Wilson, who said she intended to plead guilty, the option of dealing with her matter yesterday or coming back on Monday, but Ms Wilson wasn't getting a longer adjournment. Ms Wilson opted to come back on Monday.

One of the next people to start to seek an adjournment was 21-year-old Samantha Rose Olive Retta Moreno.

Yesterday as Moreno began to explain why, Ms Hartigan referenced her conversation with Ms Wilson.

Then after gauging what length of licence disqualification she may be looking at if she pleaded guilty to the single count of drink-driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.054 per cent while on a provisional licence, Mereno decided not to delay the matter any longer.

Mereno was disqualified from driving for three months and handed a $350 fine.
 


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