Gladstone man asked to repeat rude comment to magistrate
IT'S not the smartest move walking out of a courtroom before calling a Magistrate's decision 'stupid'.
Which is why a 35-year-old Gladstone man was called back into the room to explain his comment, after being told to leave so that he could be assessed for probation suitability.
Peter Edward Byers was at the Gladstone Magistrates Court for a guilty plea to one count of stealing.
The court heard on June 5 at about 8.50pm Byers and a co-accused arrived at Blue Care Gladstone in a tray-back ute.
The pair found a mattress lying on the side of the building, and decided to take it.
They loaded the mattress on the back on their ute and drove away.
Defence lawyer Rio Ramos told the court her client believed the mattress was free.
She said her client was unemployed and on Centrelink benefits and had seen the mattress up against the building wall on a previous occasion.
Mr Ramos said her client told his co-accused friend, who was homeless, about the mattress, and they decided they would take it for themselves.
And while it could be seen as an innocent mistake, Gladstone Magistrate Melanie Ho said Byers had a very lengthy criminal history; about four pages long filled with stealing and dishonesty offences.
"He needs to understand that you can't just take things from a community bin," she said.
Ms Ho asked Byers to step outside so the parole officer could assess whether he was suitable for a community service order, as part of his sentence.
In a dramatic exit, Byers stood from his seat, turned his back to the magistrate saying, 'this is stupid' as he did so.
Ms Ho asked him to come back and repeat what he had said.
"I'm already doing community service to pay off fines," Byers said.
"I don't understand why I have to leave the courtroom, I'm here to plead guilty."
Ms Ramos said her client was under some emotional stress, with the passing of two close family members in just under six months.
On top of the CSO order he was already on, Byers was ordered to complete an extra 40 hours.