Rocky magistrate believed to be stood down from duty
A ROCKHAMPTON magistrate who last week threatened to charge police officers and then told prosecutors he would micromanage cases with delays has been stood down.
Reliable sources have told The Morning Bulletin Magistrate Mark Morrow, who was in a relief position from August 21 as Magistrate Cameron Press took six weeks leave, was stood down on Thursday.
Reports indicate no reason was given to Mr Morrow whose full time permanent role is Senior Registrar of Rockhampton Magistrates Court.
Requests for information sent to the Department of Justice for confirmation and reason of the move provided very little information.
"Sitting arrangements for all magistrates courts in Queensland are determined by the Chief Magistrate on the basis of daily sitting requirements."
"Sitting arrangements for all magistrates courts in Queensland are determined by the Chief Magistrate on the basis of daily sitting requirements," a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Magistrate.
The move comes after Mr Morrow threatened up to eight Queensland Police Service officers who were responsible for gathering evidence and statements for serious charges involving a number of cases before the courts.
The threat was made on August 22 with Mr Morrow ordering fresh affidavits be filed with the court by 5pm the next day, or for the investigating officer to attend court two days later to take the stand to answer questions about their case/s.
He threatened to charge the officers with contempt of court if they did not comply.
"I don't know what is going on over there at that police station," Mr Morrow said on August 22.
"I'd hate to see situations like the recent one of Donovan."
Mr Morrow was referring to Western Australian man Troy Allan Donovan, who was held on remand in Queensland prisons for two years more than required after a manslaughter charge in relation to his defacto's death was dropped two years after his arrest.
He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm in Rockhampton Supreme Court on July 30 in front of Chief Justice Catherine Holmes.
On August 24, Mr Morrow ordered three cases to go to hearing and others were adjourned.
Mr Morrow told police prosecutor Sergeant Darrell Dalton he was now "micromanaging" the cases, saying "justice delayed is justice denied".
One of the cases that had been before Mr Morrow and set for hearing this week has now been set for a long plea date after lawyer Zoe Craven and Queensland Police negotiated. The court had heard in earlier proceedings the prosecution was relying on a fingerprint on one item seized in a raid that had not yet been analysed as the investigating officer couldn't track down the defendant.
Ms Craven had advised the court on August 24 she had contacted that officer and advised them her client reported regular to police as part of bail conditions and they could find him at the station.
One of Ms Craven's other clients, Glenda Lee Brown, accused of fatally stabbing her 43-year-old partner on March 16 in Blackwater, has had her matters adjourned October 17 with Magistrate Jeff Clarke yesterday ordering blood analysis be completed by then.
Mr Clarke advised the court Deputy Chief Magistrate Leanne O'Shea had advised forensic analysis scientists at the John Tonge Centre would comply with court orders in relation to when analysis needed to be completed.
This comment had been made earlier in yesterday's proceedings in relation to another matter with four cases receiving the same order.