Judge Wants Wifi for People Held at Police Stations

A Canadian judge has recommended police stations get Wi-Fi so people being held there can use the net to search for a lawyer.

The Verge reported that Judge H.A. Lamoureux of the Provincial Court of Alberta made the recommendation when presiding over the case of a 19-year-old arrested for drunk driving.

According to The Verge, the young man was unsuccessful when he tried to call an attorney, and thinking he was only allowed one call like in Hollywood movies gave up.  

Rather than lecture the teen on the dangers of watching too much TV and proselytizing on the value of persistence, the judge with the great name decided to demonstrate to the court that he is one hip and connected dispenser of justice.

Full story here.

Court Tech Ban

Lawyers in NSW will be able to continue to use mobile technology in courtrooms to do their jobs, NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith has said.

The NSW Government introduced legislation in November to ban the transmitting of information from courtrooms after an incident that endangered the integrity of the court process. Peak bodies including the NSW Law Society and Bar Association are being consulted on the proposed regulation, which will exempt lawyers and journalists, for the purposes of media reports on court proceedings, from the restrictions in the legislation.

Lawyers regularly use smartphones and tablets in court to refer to legislation and other material on electronic file and to email colleagues, support staff and even clients involved in the case.

Full story here.

Possession of a Prohibited Weapon Charge Information

Possession or Use of a Prohibited Weapon
[Section 7 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998]

Maximum Penalty: 14 years imprisonment
Offence: A person must hold a permit to posses or use the weapon; even with a permit a person must have a genuine reason for possessing the weapon at that time. The offence is a table 2 offence. It is also an offence for a person who comes into possession of an unauthorised weapon and does not immediately surrender said weapon to the police. 

The list of prohibited weapons can be found in the Schedule 1 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998.

Defences: It is a defence if the person establishes that they had a valid permit as well as a valid reason for the possession of the weapon in accordance with the permit. It can also be a defence if the person was in the process of surrendering the weapon to the authorities.
Penalty: Factors affecting penalties include the method of concealment, the weapon involved and whether it was used in conjunction with any other offences.
Consideration is also given to prior criminal record and personal circumstances such as medical and employment status.

Self Defence on Trial

Article in yesterday’s Illawarra Mercury by Emma Spillet:

“A Wollongong solicitor has slammed charges brought against a former police diver who took on an intruder in his home.

James Friederich Clarke, 55, chased the prowler and hit him in the leg with a mallet after the intruder ripped his front door off and hit his partner in the face.

Although a victim of the home invasion, Clarke found himself before the court this week, receiving a nine-month good behaviour bond for harming the intruder.

Solicitor Aaron Kernaghan, who acted for Clarke, said the charge was a slap in the face.

‘‘My client and his partner were victims in the prosecution case against their intruder,’’ he said.

‘‘They made statements, they gave evidence and they went through the process of watching their assailant being charged before they were told not to come to court for his sentencing.

‘‘After being denied a role in the proceedings as a victim, Mr Clarke was then charged for assaulting the person who broke into his home… it’s a bizarre set of circumstances.’’

Mr Kernaghan believes the matter is a cautionary tale for home owners wanting to defend themselves against intruders.
Full story here.

Cultivate Cannabis Charge Information

Cultivate Cannabis
[Section 23 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW)]

Maximum penalty: 20 years imprisonment depending on the number of cannabis plants cultivated.

Offence: When a person cultivates or knowingly takes actions in cultivating cannabis.
Cultivating includes the sowing or scattering of cannabis seeds, as well as plant, grow, tend or nurture such plants.
To knowingly take part in this one has to participate in any step of cultivation, arrangement of finances for cultivation or provide premises on which a step of process is undertaken.

Defence: It is deemed a defence if the person involved did not know or have any suspicion (or expect) that the plant was in fact a prohibited plant.

Sentences: The sentence/penalty is dependent upon the amount of plants cultivated.
A small quantity (5 plants):  10 years imprisonment
More than a small quantity (5 plants) but less than an indictable quantity (50 plants): 10 years imprisonment.
More than an indictable quantity (50 plants) but less than a commercial quantity (250 plants): 10 years imprisonment.
More than a commercial quantity (250 plants) but less than a large commercial quantity (1000 plants): 15 years imprisonment.
More than a large commercial quantity (1000 plants): 20 years imprisonment.
Considerations include plea of guilty, the entering of drug rehabilitation, criminal record, and other such conditions.

Dark day for sports? Or good day for politics?

Outrage over the suspected and possible links in Australian sport to bad things suggests there is a dreadful thing happening. But where is the evidence? Where is the details?

Or is it just a case of moving the press agenda off Craig Thompson and onto something more suitable for a government seeking re-election?

Food for thought?

214 Year-Old Pants ban for Women in Paris Abolished.

Paris may be one of the most fashion-forward cities on the planet, but its archaic ban on women wearing pants was still in place until just a few days ago.

House Explodes in Sydney, Spider to Blame.

Police were called to a home in the Sydney-suburb of Kirribilli following an explosion inside the home of a 66-year old woman.
The woman reported seeing a spider on top of her washing machine and she naturally grabbed the bug spray and had at it. The eight-legged crawly fled underneath the washing machine, which is where the trouble really began.
The woman sprayed bug spray underneath the machine which fire fighters believe ignited when it came into contact with the hot engine of the machine, which had been running at the time.
The explosion also blew up the washing machine, which more than likely killed the spider in question. Although there was no sign of the spider.
Full story here