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Ignoring opportunity angers Magistrate


By Caitlin Bewley
(1st Yr Swinburne Uni)

A repeat offender has not amused the Magistrate in the Bacchus Marsh court.
The third-time appearance for Christopher Stewart was not a positive one having been in breach of his community corrections order (CCO) since 2016.
“My immediate inclination is that your time for serious sentencing is today,” Magistrate Ron Saines said to the accused.
“It’s a disappointing report,” the accused’s lawyer told the court.
“But he hasn’t been able to attend his CCOs because he had his gall bladder removed in 2017.”
The accused’s lawyer attempted to persuade Magistrate Saines that imprisonment was the wrong way to go and that her client had the ability to comply with another CCO.
But Magistrate Saines did not budge.
“He’s had opportunity to participate in compliance since 2016,” Magistrate Saines said.
“I cannot accept that the hearing in June [2018] could be so misunderstood, when you were represented by a Barrister, that you would be bailed and not have to attend your community corrections afterwards.”
Stewart replied, “About that.”
“I didn’t actually receive any paper work saying I needed to go to my CCO,” Stewart said.
Magistrate Saines released Stewart on bail; his hearing deferred to Ballarat in February 2019.