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Reid v Queensland Police Service[2021] QCA 128

Reid v Queensland Police Service[2021] QCA 128

[2021] QCA 128

COURT OF APPEAL

McMURDO JA

MULLINS JA

NORTH J

CA No 11 of 2021

DC No 134 of 2020

REID, Alexander Ronald Applicant

v

QUEENSLAND POLICE SERVICE Respondent

TOWNSVILLE

TUESDAY, 8 JUNE 2021

JUDGMENT

  1. [1]
    McMURDO JA:  On 23 July 2020, in the Magistrates Court at Cairns, the applicant was convicted of three offences arising out of events which occurred in the previous September.  The first offence was riding a bicycle without wearing an approved safety helmet.  The second was obstructing a police officer in the performance of that officer’s duties.  The third offence was the commission of a public nuisance.
  2. [2]
    There had been a brief hearing of those charges, in which the applicant was, as he remains, without legal representation.  He did not dispute the facts of what occurred on the day in question.  The police officer stopped him whilst he was riding his bicycle and spoke to him about not wearing a helmet.  The officer asked him repeatedly to walk home, which the applicant resisted and attempted to ride away on his bike.  When he was physically stopped from doing so, he became abusive and aggressive.  The applicant agrees that he was riding without an approved helmet on a roadway.  On the offence of obstructing, he agreed that the officer was acting lawfully and that the applicant interfered with him.  On the third charge, he agreed that as a result of his frustration, he swore loudly and behaved in a way which was likely to have offended some people.
  3. [3]
    His explanation, and purported justification, for this conduct is that to have worn a helmet would have precluded him from wearing a hat of the kind which was necessary to prevent a recurrence of skin cancer.  It is obvious to say that the police officer was not making him ride his bike without his hat.  The police officer was asking him not to ride his bike without a helmet, and to push his bike home.
  4. [4]
    This was not the applicant’s first encounter with the justice system as a result of his riding a bicycle without a helmet for the same reason.  Ten years earlier he had been convicted of an offence of riding whilst not wearing an approved helmet, had unsuccessfully appealed that conviction to the District Court and unsuccessfully applied for leave to appeal to this Court: see Reid v Queensland Police Service [2011] QCA 122.
  1. [5]
    For the first offence, that of riding the bicycle without a helmet, he was fined $121.  For the second offence and the third offence, he was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.
  2. [6]
    He appealed against the conviction on the first offence to the District Court.  His appeal was dismissed on 30 November 2020.  The judge concluded that the appeal was entirely without merit.  His Honour observed that whilst the applicant “undoubtedly believes his position insofar as his conclusion regarding the safety or utility of bicycle helmets …, ultimately, this is an inappropriate forum for that argument.”  The law, his Honour said, was quite clear and in reality there was no relevant dispute in this case.
  3. [7]
    This is an application for leave to appeal against that decision.  Leave will usually only be granted where “an appeal is necessary to correct a substantial injustice to the applicant, and there is a reasonable argument that there is an error to be corrected”:  Pickering v McArthur [2005] QCA 294 at [3].  Whatever the applicant may think about it, there is no substantial injustice which has occurred in this case, and nor is there any reasonable argument that there was an error on the part of the judge or the magistrate.  The applicant’s arguments do not address the elements of this offence and the undisputed facts of its occurrence.
  4. [8]
    I would refuse the application for leave to appeal.
  5. [9]
    MULLINS JA:  I agree.
  6. [10]
    NORTH J:  I agree.
  7. [11]
    McMURDO JA:  The order will be that the application for leave to appeal is refused.
Close

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Reid v Queensland Police Service

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Reid v Queensland Police Service

  • MNC:

    [2021] QCA 128

  • Court:

    QCA

  • Judge(s):

    McMurdo JA, Mullins JA, North J

  • Date:

    08 Jun 2021

Appeal Status

Please note, appeal data is presently unavailable for this judgment. This judgment may have been the subject of an appeal.

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