Magistrate Simon Young initially expressed confusion about the seriousness of Shephard's conduct.
Magistrate Simon Young initially expressed confusion about the seriousness of Shephard's conduct.

Firework operator in court after career ends with a bang

A FORMER employee of renowned Queensland firework company Skylighter Fireworx has fronted Holland Park Magistrates Court yesterday for an unauthorised display in a skatepark south of Brisbane.

Angela Shephard, 40, from Woodridge, pleaded guilty to the unauthorised possession and use of fireworks after photographs and video obtained by police showed her "skylarking" with friends in Kuraby Skate Park on the evening of March 13, 2019.

Magistrate Simon Young initially expressed confusion about the seriousness of Shephard's conduct.

 

Angela Shephard, 40, from Woodridge (right), leaving Holland Park Magistrates Court yesterday. Photo: Alex Treacy
Angela Shephard, 40, from Woodridge (right), leaving Holland Park Magistrates Court yesterday. Photo: Alex Treacy

 

"I'm unable to really get a handle, are we talking fireworks displays with fireworks floating down or is it just running around with sparklers? Or something in between," Mr Young said.

The court heard that the fireworks in question were "indoor operated".

"They're not something we would normally see at, for instance, the September show (Riverfire)," defence counsel Sam Stewart said.

The court heard that Shephard quit her role at Skylighter in January last year, after a period of about five years' employment.

"She certainly understands her behaviour was foolish and dangerous and accepts that as a former employee of the fireworks industry she understands the risks associated with initiating a firework," Ms Stewart said.

The court heard Shephard had no criminal history and Mr Young noted the incident was "clearly out of character".

He did, however, consider she should have known better because of her previous employment.

"I suspect that's where you got the fireworks from, but there's nothing to be made out of that," Mr Young said.

He fined her $600 for both offences and no convictions were recorded.

Shephard has since lost her fireworks operator licence and now works at her own cable installation company.

According to its website, her former employer Skylighter presents more than 600 displays per year, both nationally and internationally.

It is responsible for the New Year's Eve fireworks in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Mooloolaba and Townsville, fireworks at the Ekka, pyrotechnic displays at State of Origin, Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans games, and a slew of other events.



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