Saturday, October 10, 2015

Australian magistrate Bernadette Callaghan’s ruling to return forfeited car set aside by District Court Judge

Old bag is a menace to the safety of the public

“SOFT touch” Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan’s order to return a serial unlicensed driver’s forfeited car has been overturned after a judge raised questions over her jurisdiction on the matter.

It was revealed last month police were appealing against Ms Callaghan’s order to return Desmond James Gough’s $40,000 Isuzu 4WD after he claimed he did not understand the police paperwork.

Gough had been caught behind the wheel while disqualified or unlicensed nine times in less than a decade.

His car was automatically forfeited to the state, as it was his fourth similar offence within five years.

District Court Judge Leanne Clare, SC, yesterday ordered Ms Callaghan’s ruling be set aside.  She also dismissed Gough’s original appeal against his car’s forfeiture, affirming the decision made by police.

Gough was on a suspended prison sentence when he was caught driving while disqualified last year for a previous unlicensed driving offence that occurred just four months earlier.

Ms Callaghan had found the impounding notice was defective and misleading because it did not cite all of his driving offences in the past five years, and did not properly explain that his vehicle would be forfeited.

Last week Ms Callaghan granted bail to an accused violent armed robber after hearing he was finding jail too tough.

Original report here

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