Mate keeps mate in prison with lack of plea

A HERVEY Bay man has spent more than a year behind bars because his mate failed to hold up his end of a bargain.

Shannon Wayne Dawson was released from pre-sentence custody yesterday after 15 months in prison on a trespassing and an obstructing police charge.

Dawson appeared at Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday, wearing the correctional centre clothes he has been forced to wear since May last year.

The court heard Dawson had not been able to be released from prison until his co-offender entered a plea because their charges were linked.

Dawson's co-offender had failed to appear in court a number of times, delaying the sentencing process for months.

In court yesterday, Dawson pleaded guilty to the two charges.

Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Sonia Edwards said Dawson and another person were caught running through the backyard of an Urraween home in May last year.

"Police received a call to an Urraween home, the complainant said they saw two people run through their yard," Snr Const Edwards said. "The defendant was identified as one of the people who trespassed on the property."

The prosecutor said the next day when police went to arrest Dawson, he had resisted and was charged.

Dawson's defence lawyer Michael Riddell said it was unfair for this client that the matter had gone on for so long.

"These matters are not serious at all," Mr Riddell said. "He (Dawson) has been significantly punished."

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell said he took into consideration how long Dawson had to wait before entering his plea.

"This is not the prosecutor's fault, not the court's fault, it was the co-offender's fault for not appearing," Mr Tatnell said.

Dawson was sentenced to receive no further punishment.

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