Man faces public nuisance charge

A MAN who spent almost half an hour in the court watch house for repeatedly calling an Ipswich magistrate “mate” has again faced court for being a public nuisance.

Thomas John Collins made national headlines in November after persistently referring to Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin as “mate”.

In return, he got 20 minutes in the lock-up from the magistrate.

The 36-year-old man faced Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday for chasing down a car and swearing in public.

Collins ran down Brisbane Road on December 18 and into traffic where he struck the window of a car.

Witnesses told police Collins had yelled out, “I'm going to get you, (expletive)” at the car.

Police found Collins in the Ipswich Mall a short time later where he was behaving aggressively.

“He stated this person had provoked him and gave him the finger,” prosecutor Sergeant Kerry Allison said.

“He was arrested and bailed.”

When asked if he had anything to say in court, Collins downplayed the incident.

“I went into Amex and got a loan and then I dealt with police afterwards,” Collins said.

“So it wasn't too dramatic.”

Collins pleaded guilty to committing a public nuisance and was fined $250.

No conviction was recorded.

Collins was polite and reserved while in court yesterday, answering Magistrate Michael Quinn's questions with, “Yes your honour” and “No your honour”.

In November last year Collins raised the ire of Mr McLaughlin with his back-chat while appearing on charges of drink driving and driving unlicensed.

Collins was only standing at the bar table for a brief moment when he called Mr McLaughlin “mate”.

Mr McLaughlin replied, “I'm not mate... I'm sir or your honour.”

Collins said “Okay mate” and was warned, but instead of displaying deference he replied, “I'm entitled to it” laughed and said, “Let's get with the program”.

Mr McLaughlin had clearly had enough and ordered police watch house staff to take Collins into custody.

He let Collins out in 20 minutes on the condition he apologised.

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