Australian court

Brothers Jailed For Dealing Heroin

Brothers William Garnett Phillips and Leigh Garnett Phillips have been jailed after a Supreme Court Trial in Brisbane relating to an array of offences relating to a drug business.

Mr William Phillips was represented by barrister Alastair McDougall. Mr Leigh Phillips was represented by barrister Angus Edwards. Counsel was instructed by Bosscher Lawyers solicitors Tim Meehan and Sam Breach.

The brothers were targeted during Operation Hotel Foot in 2009 and 2010. Police found $7505 in a wallet and an ounce of gold bullion, as well as various amounts of heroin in sealed containers. Tick sheets, digital scales, seal bags, weapons and quantities of meth, cocaine, cannabis and three tablets of Subutex were also found.

Both Willam and Leigh were arrested and charged on April 20 , 2012.

Alastair McDougall, for William, presented the Court with a psychiatric report entailing his clients mental health issues and upbringing.

Angus Edwards, for Leigh, informed the Court of Leigh’s heroin addiction following a serious car crash in 2007 and the death of his mother. Ultimately this led to his failed marriage and moving to live with his brother, where the offending began.

William was sentenced to five years and nine months imprisonment, and will be eligible for parole on December 22, 2014.

Leigh was sentenced to five years and five months, and will be eligible for parole on November 22, 2015.

Conviction Recorded

In most circumstances where a conviction is not recorded, the decision would not normally be available publicly online. Almost all convictions that are not recorded are convictions that take place in the Magistrates Court. The Magistrates Court does not publish its decisions, but decisions are available from transcripts on request in most instances.

When DHG pleaded guilty before the Industrial Magistrates Court in 2011, he was fined and ordered to pay costs. In its decision the Industrial Magistrate also ordered that no conviction be recorded. It was determined that recording a conviction would unfairly impact the employment prospects and economic wellbeing of DHG.

Subsequently the Department of Justice and Attorney-General (The Department) published via its website details of the case, including DHG and his sentence.

In 2013, a Google search of DHG’s name returned the publication. As a result DHG sought orders from the Supreme Court to remove the publication.

One of the primary reasons for the discretion afforded in recording a conviction is the potential for social prejudice against the defendant to be so grave that they will be continually punished well after their appropriate punishment has been served. This social prejudice severely impacts any potential of rehabilitation.

Where a conviction is not recorded, the conviction is not to be entered into any record, except the records of the court, and in the offender’s criminal history (for the purpose of appeals, proceedings against the offender for subsequent or same offences, and for proceedings in regards to contravention of the sentence).

A further (and more recent) exemption applies to departments, prosecuting authorities and legal representatives who may record the conviction if the recording is necessary for the legitimate performance of their respective functions. For example, a prosecutor may make a note on their file about the outcome.

DHG argued that the publication of the details of the case breached the provision against making a record of a case where a conviction is not recorded.

The Department argued that the publication was not a record for the purpose of the Act as it is informal and will be removed in 5 years time. In the alternative, the Department argued that the record was kept as a result of the legitimate performance of the department’s function.

The Court determined that the term record included the publication on the website. A record includes less formal documents, and a written record is permanent at the time of publication, despite plans later to have it destroyed.

Furthermore the Court determined that it was not necessary for the legitimate performance of the functions of the department to publish the record to the public.

Legal Advice

Criminal Lawyers Brisbane at Bosscher Lawyers brings 100 years of collective experience to the field of criminal law. Call 1300 729 316 and let Bosscher Lawyers put their experience to work for you.

Bosscher Lawyers Proud to Support QUT Faculty of Law

Criminal Lawyers Brisbane at Bosscher Lawyers was proud to continue its tradition of supporting high achieving students by presenting and sponsoring awards at the Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Law Prize Ceremony on Tuesday 13 May.

The ceremony provides a unique opportunity for Bosscher Lawyers to not only recognise academic excellence, but to engage with the next generation of lawyers.

Alex Jones from Bosscher Lawyers appeared on the night to award prizes to students on behalf of everyone at Bosscher Lawyers. Alex was well suited to award the prizes as he began his career as a law clerk for Michael Bosscher in 2008, whilst studying a dual degree of law and business at QUT.

Congratulations to all student recipients of prizes, Bosscher Lawyers wishes you all the best in your future careers!

Facebook ID Excluded – Charges Against Bartz Dropped

Bosscher Lawyers solicitor Tim Meehan and barrister Angus Edwards have successfully argued for the exclusion of evidence identifying Wade Anthony Bartz as being present during an armed robbery that involved three men and a woman on Australia Day in 2012.

The female victim, and Crown witness, had trawled through Facebook photos after one of her daughters suggested that she might know one of the intruders, based off the description of “covered in tattoos” and “offer her face on drugs”. Whilst looking through Facebook, the woman recognised a “big muscular chap” as the man who stood guard at the door. The woman had stumbled upon a photo of Mr Bartz. The woman had shown the police this photograph, and police requested that she cease looking at the photos but included a photo of Mr Bartz in a photo board identification test.

Mr Edwards asserted that the identification test was tainted due to the woman already having shown police a photograph of Bartz. It also became apparent that there was a lack of transparency by police in regards to how Bartz was identified.

Judge Brian Harrison ordered that the identification of Bartz through Facebook, and the subsequent photoboard identification would be excluded at trial. Following this decision, the Crown ceased proceedings against Bartz.

Cowan Lodges Appeal

Brett Peter Cowan has lodged an appeal against his murder conviction.

Last Wednesday afternoon, Tim Meehan of Bosscher Lawyers filed the notice of appeal in Brisbane.

The notice lists six grounds of appeal, including the admission of the recordings of Cowan’s confessions, instructions to the jury in regards to two defence witnesses, and the two mistrial applications made during the trial.

Cowan was sentenced in March to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 20 years. The Queensland Court of Appeal will now determine Mr Cowan’s fate in due course.

Judge Atkinson Acknowledges Bosscher Lawyers in Cowan Case

The hallmark of our criminal justice system is that a person charged with a criminal offence is innocent until proven guilty and that all steps need to be undertaken to ensure that the accused is given a fair trial.

In the wake of Brett Cowan’s sentencing, Justice Atkinson specifically acknowledged the work of his defence team, Bosscher Lawyers.

“To the defence team: this is a very difficult job, defending someone who the community has the right to hate and has the right to regard his offences as the gravest and most horrible offences that can be committed, so it takes, you know, a lot of courage and perseverance to appear for such a man and you had all done it extremely well”

“As I’ve said – and can I repeat – I’ve thanked a lot of people, but can I particularly thank counsel, all counsel and the solicitors instructing them for their conduct of this trial, which has, in my view, been exemplary”

The Other Bikie Laws in Queensland

Recently the Queensland Government has turned its attention to the other bike riders in Queensland, the cyclists. A parliamentary committee has advised the Queensland Government on a range of potential changes to the current laws in regards to cyclists.

In Queensland the Transport Operations (Road Use Management-Road Rules) Regulation 2009 governs the rights and responsibilities of cyclists. Under Section 15, bicycles are considered a vehicle and as such riders have similar rights and responsibilities to vehicle operators, a notable exception is that bicycles are exempt from registration.

A rider is required to acquaint themselves with the Queensland Road User Rules and obey traffic rules and road signs. Amongst other requirements, a cyclist must:

  • Observe traffic regulations and road signs just like all other vehicles on the road;
  • Use the bike path at all times, unless prohibited;
  • Observe the speed limit;
  • Wear visible clothing and use reflectors and lights at night;
  • Wear a helmet that meets the Australian Standards for an approved helmet (Rule 256);
  • Keep the bicycle in good working condition at all times and have at least one effective brake and a warning device such as bell or horn (Rule 258); and
  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the rear when following another motor vehicle for more than 200 metres (Rule 255).

Helmet Law

In Queensland a helmet is mandatory for all ages. Under Section 256, the rider and any passenger must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened to their head at all times. The law applies to all ages, however for children 10 to 16 years old, fines are imposed upon the third violation only.

A person can only be exempted from wearing helmet for medical reasons or for some physical reasons that make it unreasonable to wear a helmet.

The Queensland Government however has recently stated that religious believers who by reason of their religious belief wear a headdress (for example a turban) as part of their religious practice will be soon exempt from helmet laws.

The decision to provide this exemption originated from the outcome of a case against Mr Jasdeep Atwal. Mr Atwal is of the Sikh faith and challenged the $100 ticket issued to him for non-wearing of a helmet.

Practicing members of the Sikh religion do not cut their hair. Instead, their hair is wrapped up in a turban, which makes it practically impossible for them to wear a helmet.

In March, Atwal was found guilty of failing to wear a helmet, but he was not fined nor was he convicted of the offence. The decision led to the government’s proposal to amend the Helmet law in April 2013.

The Proposed ‘One-Metre Rule’

With the rise of road fatalities and serious injuries involving bicycles in Queensland, the Queensland Government has considered the adoption of new regulations at the suggestion of the parliamentary committee.

Some of the changes the parliamentary committee has proposed include:

The proposal to impose a ‘one-metre rule’ between motorists and cyclists to prevent road accidents.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said Parliament’s Transport, Housing and Local Government committee would review and consider the possibility of passing the law.“There has been a lot of focus recently on bike safety and I’ve listened to that feedback and decided to take a closer look at the evidence and laws,” Mr Emerson said.

The proposal to a two-year trial mandatory ‘no-helmet’ policy for cyclists aged over 16 years in less risky areas.

Increasing fines for cyclists

The committee recommended that fines should be increased to match those that apply to motorists.

Overtaking and Stop Sign changes

The proposed changes would see that cyclists are only required to slow down at a stop sign, and not required to stop.

Bosscher Lawyers

If you have been charged with a traffic offence, Bosscher Lawyers are here to help. Criminal Lawyers Brisbane at Bosscher Lawyers are experts in criminal defence and as one of Australia’s largest criminal law practices, we have represented thousands of Australians.

Bosscher Lawyers prides itself on honest advice, client involvements and efficient, cost effective representation. You can contact Bosscher Lawyers on 1300 729 316.

 

“Hoon Laws” in Queensland

Since the beginning of November we have seen the implementation of tough new anti-hoon laws in relation to driving offences. These new laws mean the Queensland has the toughest impoundment penalties in Australia for these offences.

The Police Powers and Responsibilities (Motor Vehicle Impoundment) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill extended the 2 existing categories of vehicle offences to include more offences, and also increased the period of impoundment for an offence from 48 hours to 7 or 90 days, depending on the offence committed.

It is important to note that the towing and storage costs of impounding the vehicle are paid by the driver, and not by Queensland Police or the Queensland Government.

Type 1 offences are considered the most serious offences. A type 1 offence can be generally classified as involving the dangerous or careless operation of a motor vehicle. Type 1 offences include actions such as evading police, street racing, speed trials, drifting, and willfully making unnecessary noise or smoke from a vehicle.

Previously a type 1 offence would result in your vehicle being impounded for 48 hours. Under the new laws your first offence will cause your vehicle to be impounded for 90 days, a subsequent type 1 offence will force you to forfeit your vehicle.

Type 2 offences are considered less serious than type 1 offences, but still carry heavy penalties. Type 2 offences include the driving of an uninsured and unregistered vehicle, driving without a valid licence, driving under the heavy influence of alcohol, driving over the speed limit by more than 40km/h, or failing to properly comply with vehicle or safety standards.

For the first breach of a type 2 offence, the vehicle will not be impounded or immobilised. In the event of a second breach of a type 2 offence a vehicle will be immobilised or impounded for a period of seven days, a subsequent breach will cause the vehicle to be impounded for a period of 90 days. Any subsequent commission of a type 2 offence will cause a vehicle to be forfeited.

What To Do If My Vehicle Has Been Impounded?

If your vehicle has been impounded you may be eligible for the early release of the vehicle, upon application to the Commissioner of Police. If the Commissioner deems you ineligible for the early release of your vehicle, you may appeal this decision in the Magistrates Court.

Criminal Lawyers Brisbane at Bosscher Lawyers is experienced in all aspects of traffic matters and can assist you if you have been charged with an offence, if you wish to apply to the Commissioner of Police for the release of your vehicle, or in appearing before a Magistrate under any circumstances.

DNA Does Not Prove Guilt

The 18-year-old man who is accused of the rape and murder of Joan Ryther was denied bail during a hearing in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Wednesday.

During the bail application, the prosecution weighed heavily on DNA of the accused, allegedly found on Ms Ryther’s shirt and trousers.

Tim Meehan, of Bosscher Lawyers, for the accused, told the court the DNA evidence did not prove guilt, nor the “specific nature” of the contact. “It is not a strong crown case,” he told the court.

Accused Gunman in Court

Mohammed Hijazi, the alleged armed bandit appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on charges of robbery, assault and drug related matters relating to a number of separate robberies in Brisbane’s southside.

Hijazi, represented by Bosscher Lawyers, was denied bail in Court yesterday and will next appear on May 6.

Bosscher Lawyers Represent Alleged Thief

Two security guards that were required to keep ATM machines in southeast Brisbane full with cash have been accused of staging an armed robbery as a part of an alleged crime spree that was set to profit a drug and criminal network almost $200,000.

A yearlong investigation codenamed “Operation Juliet Perspective” resulted in Oxley Detectives arresting four men, charged with what police allege was a staged robbery of a Secutor Securities cash transit car on 6 June 2011, at Acacia Ridge, and a further two armed hold-ups at service stations.

All four men appeared before Richlands Magistrates Court and are yet to enter pleas to the charges. Alex Jones of Bosscher Lawyers represents Mr Johnson in the proceedings.

Huge Heroin Smuggle

It’s been alleged by Queensland Police that three men attempted to smuggle 58 kilograms of heroin into Brisbane inside a wooden altar.

The men, represented by Bosscher Lawyers have been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully imported, the maximum penalty of which is life imprisonment.

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Bosscher Lawyers Welcome Anna Smith

Bosscher Lawyers’ Legal Practice Director, Alison Campbell has welcomed Anna Smith to the the growing team of criminal lawyers.

“Anna has in excess of 14 years experience in criminal law and advocacy in both New South Wales and Queensland. She brings to our firm extensive knowledge of criminal law from law enforcement and policing through to prosecution and defence,” Ms Campbell said.

“Bosscher Lawyers is dedicated to providing clients with the very best criminal law expertise and given Anna’s wealth of experience, she is an excellent fit within our firm.”

Anna can help with all criminal law matters on the Sunshine Coast.