SMOKEN DEBATE: Smoker Brett Saunders lost his argument over smoking outside an Ipswich shopping centre and fined $200 for trespass.
SMOKEN DEBATE: Smoker Brett Saunders lost his argument over smoking outside an Ipswich shopping centre and fined $200 for trespass. Ross Irby

Ipswich smoke is 'the most expensive cigarette in Australia'

A SMOKER who refused to move on after lighting up next to a non-smoking sign near the entrance of Riverlink Shopping Centre has been fined $200.

Self-confessed cigarette addict Brett Saunders was waiting for the Fernvale bus when security staff confronted him over his smoking.

He refused to budge when asked to move on and police were called.

It ended with Saunders, 43, being charged with trespass at Riverlink for the incident on January 24.

Police prosecutor Bronson Ballard said that security staff located Saunders that afternoon 5m from the entry of the shopping centre.

Saunders pleaded guilty to the offence - saying the sign read no smoking within 20m of the entry, even though Queensland law requires a distance of 5m.

"Guilty under protest your honour," Saunders said.

Mr Ballard said Saunders was told to stop but when he finished smoking, he immediately lit a second cigarette.

When police arrived, Saunder said: "I can smoke where I like.

"The big guys pushing around the little guys.

"I'm told it was private property."

Magistrate Louisa Pink said Saunders was not being prosecuted for smoking but for remaining on property when asked to leave.

"I beg to differ," he said in court.

"I'd like to bring to Riverlink's attention CCTV footage.

"It shows other patrons sitting and smoking in the same area and not asked to move on.

"They can make up their laws as they go along."

Outside court, Saunders said the $200 fine was "the most expensive cigarette in Australia".

He said it had been "a bloody hot" summer's day and that he thought he had been well away from the entry.

Saunders said he had been seeking respite under the shade-cloth carparking area.



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