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  • Unreported Judgment

R v Witt

 

[1981] CCA 67

IN THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL

C.A. No. 281 of 1981

BEFORE:

Mr. Justice Lucas S.P.J.

Mr. Justice D.M. Campbell

Mr. Justice Connolly

BRISBANE, 23 JUNE 1981

(Copyright in this transcript is vested in the Crown. Copies thereof must not be made or sold without the written authority of the Chief Court Reporter, Court Reporting Bureau.)

-----

THE QUEEN

v.

FRANCIS CHARLES WITT

(Applicant)

JUDGMENT

MR. JUSTICE LUCAS: This applicant was convicted pursuant to his plea of guilty at the Magistrates Court at St. Lawrence before two Justices of the Peace on a charge that he had stolen certain property belonging to the Commissioner for Railways of a total value of $655. The facts were set out in what the prosecuting officer said to the Court, and included a statement by the applicant that he had taken the property owned by his father for safe-keeping. In those circumstances it seems doubtful that the plea of guilty should have been allowed to stand but the trouble about the case is that one of the Justices of the Peace was himself an official of the Railway Department, being a station-master at St. Lawrence, and there is evidence which suggests that he was the person responsible for instigating the complaint and having it investigated.

In view of the fact that he himself sat as one of the Justices of the Peace to hear the charge against the applicant an obvious case of bias is disclosed in accordance with the principles relating to that matter, which are now well established. In my view the conviction cannot stand and the fine and other order made by the justices should be set aside, and in all the circumstances of the case there should not be another trial.

MR. JUSTICE D.M. CAMPBELL: I agree.

MR. JUSTICE CONNOLLY: I agree. I have nothing to add.

MR. JUSTICE LUCAS: That will be the order of the Court.

It seems that application was made for extension of time within which to appeal, and in so far as it may be necessary the application is allowed.

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Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    The Queen v Francis Charles Witt

  • Shortened Case Name:

    R v Witt

  • MNC:

    [1981] CCA 67

  • Court:

    QCCA

  • Judge(s):

    Lucas SPJ, D M Campbell J, Connolly J

  • Date:

    23 Jun 1981

Litigation History

No Litigation History

Appeal Status

No Status