Jun 22nd, 2010 by admin
INDEPENDENT MP Bob Such is thousands of dollars out of pocket after losing a court battle against a speeding fine.
The long-serving MP and former Liberal Cabinet minister had challenged the accuracy of hand held laser guns in the Adelaide Magistrates Court after police detected him travelling at 69km/h in a 50km/h zone at Aberfoyle Park in January 2008.
Dr Such went to trial, telling the court he was not speeding and questioning other errors made by the motorbike officer, Constable Gregory Thompson, who issued a $300 fine.
Today, Magistrate Joanne Tracy found “the laser was operated and read correctly” and therefore, Dr Such was guilty of speeding.
She found Dr Such had not proved the laser was inaccurate.
The court heard he had no previous convictions for speeding.
She ordered Dr Such pay the original fine, plus prosecution trial and hearing costs totalling $1020. He was also ordered to pay court costs and a victims of crime levy.
Dr Such – who has represented the southern suburbs electorate of Fisher since 1989 – has previously said the cost of preparing a defence was about $10,000.
He had said he was fighting the fine because “you cannot put a price on integrity”.
During the trial, Dr Such had sought a court order for independent testing of the police laser gun, which was refused.
Isn’t that simply disgusting? If you can’t seek an independant test of the police laser guns, how can you possibly defend your innocence in court? This is how bad the system has become – and proves how bad they want to keep their revenue raising cash register’s flaws a secret.
Outside court, a surprised Michael Woods, for Dr Such, said the finding would be appealed to the Supreme Court.
He said the ruling would affect ordinary members of the public who could not afford to contest a fine.
“`There’s a lot of members of the public that are left in a similar position where the cost of fighting these matters is ridiculous and its outweighed with the weight against the accused,” Mr Woods said.
“It’s almost got to the position where it’s a reversal of the onus of proof and that’s what scares the poor members of the public off on these sort of matters because you can’t afford to fight it.”
He said he found it surprising the police would not hand over the laser “that they so cherish” for independent testing.
“I would have thought that in this day and age we could be more open about that.”