Scone Court Report: January 2020

Filed in Just In by January 24, 2020

THIS month Magistrate Donnelly in several matters pointed out references of good character do not carry much weight in crimes relating to domestic violence and driving matters, “as usual there are six or seven references that they are of good character…functioning members of the community…but it’s their driving…this is a serious offence where good character has a limited role.”

Magistrate Donnelly was confounded by several reports from Community Corrections assessing offenders as having “limited insights” into their behaviours and the effects of their crimes, but noted Community Corrections would overturn any direction for supervision on court orders. Magistrate Donnelly described it as “nonsensical” and made a point of including supervision as part of bail conditions for people with limited insight.

Perpetrators of domestic violence were told domestic violence is not treated like it was in the 60s, 70s and 80s and today is treated as a very serious offence. Magistrate Donnelly said people have a right to feel safe in their own homes and violence in the home is a serious criminal matter which has lasting impact on the victims, especially children who may live in the home.

Matter before the Scone Local Court this month included:

ALLEN, John William, a 34 year old from Scone appeared and pled guilty charges of drive with low range prescribed concentration of alcohol – second offence and drive motor vehicle during disqualification period. The offence occurred on Noblet Road, Scone on September 11 at approximately 10:05am, when Mr Allen returned a reading of 0.058. (Details: 6-7 schooners of Stone and Wood full strength 9:30pm last drink 12pm) Mr Allen had been charged with high range drink driving in July, 2018 and the bond relating to this previous matter was also called before the court for sentencing. Magistrate Donnelly said, “what surprised me about your case is you had attended the traffic offenders program”, yet was back in court for another drink driving offence, “it is unfortunate that you made a decision to drive that day.” Magistrate Donnelly also pointed out that this was yet another matter before the court where a person is of good character in other respects, “but good character does not have the weight it does in other offences.” The sentencing report attested that Mr Allen had good prospects of rehabilitation. For the previous offence of high range drink driving, the section 9 bond was revoked and Mr Allen was given a community corrections order for two years and fined $800. For the low range drink driving offence Mr Allen was fined $1,200 disqualified from driving for three months and a mandatory interlock period of 12 months. For the charge of drive vehicle while disqualified Mr Allen was further disqualified from driving for 6 months and fined $400.

BELL, Stephen James, a 33 year old from Victor Harbor, South Australia, formerly Taree, entered a written plea of guilty to a charge of drive motor vehicle during disqualification period – second offence. The offence occurred on October 1 at approximately 11:48am in Merriwa on the Golden Highway. Mr Bell was convicted and a warrant will be issued.

BROWN, Drew William, a 24 year old from Scone pled not guilty to a charge of resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty. The alleged offence occurred on November 9 in Scone. The matter was adjourned until March 18.

BURKE, Martin Ernest, a 61 year old from Aberdeen filed a written plea of guilty to a charge of drive with low range prescribed concentration of alcohol – second offence. The offence occurred at approximately 10:50am on December 28 on MacQueen Street, Aberdeen, when Mr Burke returned a reading of 0.069. Mr Burke told police his had only had three or four glasses of red wines with his last drink being at 8pm the previous day. The matter was adjourned until February 19.

BYRNE, Mathew Paul, a 46 year old from Murrurundi pled guilty to a charge of common assault relating to an incident on June 14 in Murrurundi. The Magistrate noted it was the third time Mr Byrne had presented on such charges and was perplexed by the presentence report which stated Mr Byrne had “limited insight” in relation to his violent behaviours, but the report also recommended suspending supervision, describing the disparity as “incomprehensible” and “the issue for the court is the Act requires an assessment of risk.” Mr Byrne’s solicitor said Mr Byrne had volunteered to do a rehabilitation program. The Magistrate conceded it was   Mr Byrne’s solicitor said he had volunteered to do a rehabilitation program. Magistrate Donnelly said, “if I order supervision today…perhaps the executive will reconsider their position that supervision should be suspended. I don’t understand the approach taken, I don’t understand why there is no suggested program…that’s not the fault of the defendant either…but now I’ve got a report and no recommendation of any program.” Mr Byrne was sentenced to an 8 month intensive corrections order and 50 hours of community service. Magistrate Donnelly warned Mr Byrne that if he breached the order the matter would not go back to court, but to the parole authority and they must decide if they convert the sentence to full time custody, “you must understand it is a very serious order.”

CAPSTICK, Robert, a 20 year old from Scone had a charge of drive with high range prescribed concentration of alcohol and unlicenced for class, class C, R, LR or MR. Mr Capstick returned a reading of 0.184 at approximately 3am on January 11 in Scone. Mr Capstick admitted to police that he had been riding an unregistered motorcycle on Bhima Drive, was not wearing a helmet and said the bike had run out of fuel. Mr Capstick also told police he had consumed a schooner of Great Northern at the Belmore Hotel, then 10 to 15 schooners of Great Northern and two schooners of Canadian Club at the Scone RSL, before going to a party on Bhima Drive where he consumed 8 pineapple vodka cruisers and at least 6 Great Northern stubbies. He estimates he also ate approximately 10 packets of salt and vinegar chips while he was drinking. Mr Capstick is an English citizen in Australia on a working visa and did not hold an Australian licence. Police offered Mr Capstick the services of a doctor to obtain a blood sample, however Mr Capstick declined stating, “no, I agree, I’m fully over.” Mr Capstick will attend the traffic offenders program and the matter was adjourned until February 19. 

DAVIDSON, Jason John, a 40 year old from North Belmont appeared on charges of destroy or damage property, enter enclosed land no prescribed premises without lawful excuse, stalk/intimidate intend fear physical etc harm and resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty. The alleged offences occurred at approximately 10:30pm on December 27 in Barton Street, Scone. The property damage relating to the new offences was a screen door at a property in Barton Street, Scone. The matter was adjourned until March 18.

NOTE: The above matter was originally listed as including a drink driving charge, which was not the case. We apologise for the error.

DORRINGTON, David Wayne, a 56 year old from Gunnedah pled not guilty to a charge of possess prohibited drug. The offence occurred on December 7 in Scone, when police allege Mr Dorrington was in possession of 0.31 grams of methylamphetamine. The matter was set down for hearing on July 23.

DUNCOMBE, Carina Louise, a 36 year old from Scone had a charge of drive with middle range concentration of alcohol – first offence. The alleged offence occurred at approximately 7:55pm on October 16 in Kelly Street Scone, when Ms Duncombe returned a reading of 0.081. The matter was adjourned until February 19.

EDMONDS, Jayne Maree, a 49 year old from Timor appeared in court and pled guilty to charges of possess unauthorised firearm, not keep firearm safely-not prohibited firearm/pistol and possess unregistered firearm-not prohibited firearm/pistol. The alleged offences occurred on August 28 in Timor and relate to a Lithgow Arms, Slazenger 0.22 calibre rifle. The matters were adjourned until March 18.

FAHEY, Laura Edna, a 53 year old from Merriwa had a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol – first offence. The alleged offence occurred on June 21 in Merriwa at approximately 7:30pm on Cullingral Road, when Ms Fahey returned a reading of 0.086. The matter was adjourned until February 19.

FORRESTER, Mathew Robert, a 35 year old from Moore Creek had a charge of possess prohibited drug. The alleged offence occurred at approximately 12:05am on December 21 in Kelly Street, Scone when police allege Mr Forrester had 3.6grams of methylamphetamine.

FITZGERALD, Warren Rayment, a 48 year old from Parkville had a charge of drive behind other vehicle too closely to stop safely. The offence occurred at approximately 3:45pm, August 28, on the New England Highway at Parkville. Mr Fitzgerald was convicted and fined $1,500.

FOX, Aaron Steven, a 41 year old from Gilgandra, formerly of Aberdeen, appeared on charges of destroy or damage property, stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm and two counts of common assault and two counts of intentionally choke etc person without consent. The alleged offences occurred in Aberdeen on April 21 and 22. The matter is listed for hearing on June 30.

GILLFEATHER, George Francis, a 22 year old from Parkville appeared and pled guilty to a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol – first offence. The offence occurred on December 1 at approximately 12am on Main Street, Scone, when Mr Gillfeather returned a reading of 0.129. Police were conducting patrols Mr Gillfeather was seen leaving the Willow Tree Hotel rear carpark and mounted the gutter. Mr Gillfeather told police he had his first drink at 4pm, last just prior to being pulled over by police and estimated he had consumed eight rum and cokes. Mt Gillfeather’s solicitor argued that Mr Gillfeather had a clean criminal and driving record and had a genuine need for a licence working at Cressfield Stud which is approximately 10 kilometres from Scone. Magistrate Donnelly noted Mr Gillfeather was at the top of the middle range limit and said he accepted his reflections on the Traffic Offenders Program and saw a level of contrition. The Magistrate warned Mr Gillfeather, “If you ever come back to a court of law for something like this the sentence will get worse.” Mr Gillfeather was fined $9000, disqualified from driving for 3 months and will have a mandatory interlock for 12 months.

GORTON, Cindy Lee, a 53 year old from Wingen appeared in court and pled not guilty to charges of common assault and attempt stalk/intimidate intend fear of harm. The matters were set down for hearing on March 18.

HAGGARTY, Flynn, a 19 year old from appealed a decision by the Roads and Maritime Services. Mr Haggarty will complete the traffic offenders program and the matter was adjourned until February 19.

HALL, Dennis, An 88 year old from Murrurundi pled guilty a charge of driver never licenced – first offence. The offence occurred on August 12 in Murrurundi. The matter was dismissed.

HARDMAN-WEBB, McEnzee, a 19 year old from Tamworth appealed a decision of the Roads and Martime Services. Mr Hardman-Webb attended the traffic offenders program and the appeal was allowed.

IRVINE, Brett Anthony, a 53 year old from Burrell Creek entered a written plea of guilty to a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol – first offence. The offence occurred on October 27 at approximately 12:25am on the New England Highway in Scone, when Mr Irvine returned a reading of 0.133. Mr Irvine told police he had consumed eight mid-strength beers, with the first at 4pm and the last at midnight and told police when he was pulled over, “I’ll be over for sure!” Magistrate Donnelly noted Mr Irvine had completed the traffic offenders program and had no prior record. Mr Irvine was given a 12 month correctional release order.

JERRICK, Kevin Allan, a 73 year old from Scone pled guilty to a charge of larceny. Mr Jerrick was in Scone Woolworths supermarket when picked up $340 and placed it in his pocket. Mr Jerrick said had always handed money in, but on this occasion he had not. Magistrate Donnelly noted his complete lack of criminal history and sentenced him to community release order for six months and directed him to repay the money.

JONES, Andrew Ronald, a 44 year old from Scone pled guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The offence occurred at approximately 12:30pm on January 4 in Scone. In December Mr Jones was convicted for the same offence, fined $800 and given a 12 month

KING, John Kenneth, a 64 year old from Rutherford pled guilty to a charge of exceed speed limit by more than 10 kilometres – camera detected. The offence occurred at approximately 6:57pm on October 20 on the New England Highway in Blandford. Mr King was fined $400.

LEWINS, Garry Noel, a 64 year old from Ardglen appeared and pled guilty to two charges of use unregistered registerable class A motor vehicle on road. Mr Lewins and his wife were both pensioners who had purchased a new car, paid for a green slip and used their pension cards for the registration. Mr Lewins said he honestly believed the vehicle was registered. The Police Prosecution agreed there seemed to have been an error by the Roads and Maritime Services. The matter was dismissed.

MANWARRING, Rodney Michael, a 42 year old from Scone pled guilty to a charge of exceed speed by more than 45 kilometres. The offence occurred on October 19 on Segenhoe Road, Segenhoe when Mr Manwarring was travelling at 130km an hour in an 80km speed zone. It was noted Mr Manwarring had never been before the court before and had completed the traffic offenders program. The Police Prosecutor said the section of road is targeted by police as speeding was a concern for that community. The Magistrate noted the seriousness of the offence and community concern. Magistrate Donnelly also considered Mr Manwarring’s previous good history, that he pled guilty at the first available opportunity, showed contrition and had good prospects of rehabilitation. Mr Manwarring was given a 2 year conditional release order without conviction. Magistrate Donnelly said “I don’t expect to see you in court again.”

MARSDEN, Ross, a 80 year old from Merriwa pled guilty to a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol – first offence. The offence occurred at approximately 9pm on December 1 on Marquet Street, Merriwa, when Mr Marsden returned a reading of 0.124. Mr Marsden came to the attention of police when his trailer hit the curb of a corner. Mr Marsden told police he had left his home due to the bushfires and consumed four schooners of full strength beer at the Royal Hotel. He intended to stay at the Hotel, but began driving to find a friend’s house, but was unable to provide any details about the residence other than a unit block and unable to provide details about the friend. The Magistrate noted Mr Marsden had only two offences during 60 years of driving and had just evacuated due to a bushfire. Mr Marsden was given a 12 month conditional release order.

MASKELL, Peter Anthony, a 61 year old from Scone pled guilty to a charge of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol – first offence. The offence occurred at approximately 4:50pm on January 7 in Scone, when Mr Maskell returned a reading of 0.08. Police pulled Mr Maskell over for the purpose of a random breath test in Bingle Street, Scone. Mr Maskell told police, “I finished a beer at the Bowling Club about three minutes ago”. He had consumed two schooners of Tooheys Old. Police observed Mr Maskell for 10 minutes and tested Mr Maskell, who returned a reading of 0.08. Mr Maskell’s licence was suspended for three months, a mandatory interlock period of 12 months and fined $800.

MATHEWS, Jason Raymond, a 46 year old from Scone pled not guilty to charges of use etc offensive weapon with intent to commit indictable offence and affray. The alleged offences occurred at approximately 9:50pm on December 28 and the weapon involved was a machete. The matter was adjourned until March 18.

MILLER, Wayne Brereton, a 63 year old from Terrigal pled guilty to charges of use vehicle on road or road related area motor vehicle tax not paid, uninsured motor vehicle, and use unregistered registrable class A motor vehicle on road. The offence occurred on July 18 on the New England Highway in Wingen. The matter was adjourned until February 28 in Gosford.

MUFFETT, Ivy-Jane, a 21 year old from Nelsons Bay, formerly of Scone, appeared before the court and pled guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The assault occurred at approximately 3:30pm on November 7 in Scone. Ms Muffett was undertaking an EQUIPS (Explore, Question, Understand, Investigate and Practise, Plan, Succeed) program for domestic violence, given a community corrections order for 12 months under supervision.

MUFFETT, Kain Michael, a 23 year old from Scone had charges of cause grievous bodily harm to person with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and reckless wounding. The alleged offences occurred on November 19 in Scone. The matters were adjourned until February 19.

MURPHY, Jill Margaret, a 53 year old from Murrurundi pled not guilty to a charge of contravene prohibition/restriction.  The alleged offence occurred on August 17 in Murrurundi. The matter was adjourned until May.  

MURTAGH, Ryan, a 20 year old from Segenhoe was found guilty of drive with middle range prescribed concentration of alcohol in December. The offence occurred on November 2 in Susan Street, Scone when Mr Murtagh returned a reading of 0.086 and told police he had been at the Belmore and consumed four drinks. Mr Murtagh was found guilty in his absence in December. Mr Murtagh was fined $1,000, disqualified from driving for 3 months and a mandatory interlock period of 12 months.

RANDELL, Jai Anthony, a 32 year old from Scone had a charge of contravene prohibition/restriction. The matter was adjourned until March 18.

ROOTS, Jake Daryl, a 31 year old from Muswellbrook pled not guilty to a charge of larceny. The alleged offence occurred in October 2018 and relates to $810 and eleven 1800 x 2100mm cut cattle panels from Gundy Bushman’s Carnival. The matter was adjourned until February 19.

RUSSELL, Kirsty Rose, a 43 year old from Murrurundi appeared in court and pled not guilty to charges of destroy or damage property and common assault. The alleged offence occurred on December 5 in Murrurundi and related items include a bedroom window, garden pots and a glass bowl. The matters were set down for hearing on June 30.

SANSOM, Ross William, a 45 year old from Murrurundi had charges of stalk/intimidate intend fear physical etc harm and resist officer in execution of duty. The alleged offence occurred at approximately 7:30pm, January 1 in Murrurundi. The matter was adjourned until February 19.

SAUNDERS, Katie, a 36 year old from Aberdeen pled guilty to a charge of drive motor vehicle during disqualification period – second offence. The offence occurred at approximately 8:10pm, October 11 in Scone. Ms Saunders was disqualified from driving for 6 months and placed on a community release order for 6 months.  

SEVIL, Melinda Josephine, a 24 year old from South Tamworth pled not guilty to a charge of common assault. The alleged offence occurred on June 14 in Murrurundi. The matter was adjourned until June 29.    

SMITH, Angela May, a 20 year old from West Tamworth pled guilty to a charge of never licenced person drive vehicles on road – first offence. The offence occurred at approximately 8:35pm, November 16 in Scone. The matter was adjourned until March 2.

STANTON, Dennis John, a 54 year old from West Tamworth had charges of supply prohibited drug – indictable quantity and possess prohibited drug. The alleged offences occurred on September 8 in Scone at approximately 2:50am, when police state Mr Stanton was in possession of 6.8 grams of methyl-amphetamine 6.8grams. The matter was adjourned until February 19.

TAYLOR, Jake, a 23 year old from Aberdeen appeared and pled not guilty to charges of common assault and stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm, which occurred on August 18 in Scone at approximately 2pm. Magistrate Donnelly asked if the two matters related to the same victim, or different victims and he was informed there were two victims, to which he responded, “is that better or worse?” Magistrate Donnelly said it was another case where Community Corrections hadn’t recommended a rehabilitation program. Mr Taylor’s solicitor said Mr Taylor was on a waiting list to complete an 18 week course with Relationships Australia. Magistrate Donnelly noted Mr Taylor was being proactive, but questioned why Community Corrections had said supervision should be suspended, “Parliament have asked the courts to ask this question…this report says it supervision is ordered it will be suspended.” Magistrate Donnelly also noted the threat to the victim was “I’ll fucking kill you, you cunt,” which he described as a serious threat made in the victims home where they should feel safe and in the presence of children. Magistrate Donnelly pointed out that Mr Taylor had been before the court for a similar offence in 2017 and emphasised, “this is a serious crime and the court takes a completely different approach to domestic violence…the custodial threshold has been crossed” and made an order that Mr Taylor be supervised, despite the sentencing report stating any such ruling would be suspended, “I am making an order for you to be supervised in any event.” Mr Taylor was given an intensive corrections order for 6 months for common assault, for threats a 12 month supervised order and 100 hours of community service work.

WADE, Amy Maree, a 50 year old from Edgeworth pled not guilty to charges of stalk/intimidate intend fear physical etc harm and common assault. The alleged offences occurred between 4:40pm and 5:20pm on June 14. The matter was set down for hearing on June 29.

WITNEY, Justine Maree, a 38 year old from Merriwa pled not guilty to charges of destroy or damage property, drive under the influence of alcohol and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The alleged offences occurred on January 26 in Merriwa when damage was caused to a rear bumper bar of motor vehicle the property of Carol McLoughlin. It is also alleged Ms Witney drove on Range Road, Merriwa under the influence of alcohol and assaulted a person causing her actual bodily harm to her. The matter was part heard and adjourned until May 7 in Muswellbrook Local Court.

WITNEY, Owen James, a 38 year old from Merriwa pled not guilty to charges of stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm and armed with intent to commit indictable offence. The alleged offences occurred on November 11, 2018 in Merriwa and the weapon involved was an axe. The matter was adjourned until June 29.

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