‘Absolute idiot’ cops blast from new magistrate
GOLD Coast's newest magistrate has made a firm foray into the Southport Courthouse, calling a repeat drug offender an "absolute idiot" and warning him to "wake up to himself".
Magistrate Pamela Dowse gave the extended lecture to a repeat drug offender yesterday during one of her first cases in her first day in the Southport Magistrates Court.
Ms Dowse slammed Benjamin Gregory Holmes after he pleaded guilty to six charges including unlawful use of a motor vehicle and possessing dangerous drugs.
Holmes was caught sitting on a stolen Suzuki motorbike at a Pimpama 7-Eleven store on April 21, having ridden about 500m despite his licence already being disqualified.
"I don't know why you would do that," she said.
"You would have to be an absolute idiot."
Weeks later, in a separate incident, he was taken to hospital when he fell off a bike.
Nurses found 1.1g of methyl amphetamine in his shoe after his footwear fell off.
Holmes was on probation when he was caught. His lawyer, Danielle Hurda of Bamberry Lawyers, said Holmes was addicted to ice.
"You are an impost on the system and it's about time you woke up to yourself," Ms Dowse told Holmes.
While sentencing, Ms Dowse lectured Holmes, warning him he needed to turn his behaviour around.
"I think you are very hard to tell anything to," she said.
Holmes was sentenced to 12 months probation and disqualified from holding a licence for two years.
He was warned that if he returned a positive drug test while on probation he would be sent to prison.
"Don't come back," Ms Dowse snapped as Holmes left the courtroom.
Ms Dowse has transferred from Beenleigh to replace magistrates Joan White and Bernadette Callaghan, who job-shared the one position.
The pair were accused of being "soft touches" after giving defendants what some believed were light sentences.
Ms White gave 12 months probation to Caleb Maraku after a shocking one-punch attack, while Ms Callaghan, who has spent the past few months working in Brisbane, in 2016 granted bail to Samuel de Raadt, 53, who was allegedly caught with 90kg of marijuana in his car.
Ms Callaghan, who retired last week, gave a parting shot to media who she accused of being "false, misleading and malicious". She questioned the importance of "one punch can kill" campaigns, arguing they were driven by "editors of newspapers".
Ms Dowse yesterday started her time of the Gold Coast with a firm hand.
Defence lawyers told News Queensland yesterday they regarded Ms Dowse as "firm when she needs to be". But she has also been accused of being soft after discharging a mechanic for disqualified driving because she wanted him to keep his job.
Solicitors appearing before her yesterday welcomed Ms Dowse to Southport, with some making a trip to the courtroom to greet the magistrate.