Queenslanders Chief Magistrate has been urged to introduce anger-management courses for members of the judiciary after a man was jailed for addressing an Ipswich magistrate as ‘mate’. Thomas John Collins was sent to the cells after twice calling Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin “mate” during a hearing last week.
When Magistrate McLaughlin objected, ordering Collins to address him as “sir or your honour,” the defendant replied “OK mate” and was sent for a stint in the cells. He later returned to the courtroom to apologise.
Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully said the incident followed another in Toowoomba, where a magistrate hauled two tradesmen before the court for making too much noise, and threatened to charge them with contempt.
Cr Tully said the pomposity of some magistrates had gone too far.
“Some of these magistrates see themselves as Lord of the Fifedom,” he said. “I say to every magistrate, ‘come on, mate, get off your high horse and show some tolerance’.”
He also called on the Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan Butler to introduce
annual anger management classes for all Queensland magistrates.
Text: Geelong Advertiser – Tuesday 02/11/2010