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Fears young people with tattoos could be jailed - lawyer

Rockhampton lawyer Doug Winning
Rockhampton lawyer Doug Winning

DOUG Winning says there is "a real fear" in the community that young people with tattoos could be jailed under the new bikie laws.

The Rockhampton criminal lawyer said he had fielded about 200 phone calls since the "draconian legislation" was introduced.

"I've been inundated with inquiries from citizens of Rockhampton who have a real fear that their young sons and daughters who have tattoos are going to be imprisoned by this government," he said.

"The laws are so asinine they think there is a possibility that could happen.

"A lot of young people in the community don't think rationally. They pick up on catch words in the debate and misconstrue them."

Mr Winning said a ruling this week by a Supreme Court justice showed the Newman government's bikie laws were in tatters.

He described as a "watershed moment" the decision by Justice Peter Applegarth to reduce the jail terms of three accused bikies to account for "harsh" solitary confinement in Woodford Correctional Centre's bikie-only unit.

Justice Applegarth said one day in the unit - citing new rules requiring bikies to spend 22 hours a day in solitary confinement - would be equivalent to one week in a normal prison environment.

Mr Winning said enforcement of the legislation was having the opposite effect of what was intended.

"Rather than providing tougher sentences, in this instance the legislation has mitigated the sentences to a point where the defendants will serve almost no custodial time at all," he said.

"This really shows that the sentencing regime envisaged is crumbling.

"This is the best example - from an eminent source, a Supreme Court justice - that these laws are a joke."

Mr Winning said he had not experienced anything like this legislation in his 26 years on the legal circuit.

"(Premier) Newman, (Attorney-General) Bleijie and (Police Minister) Dempsey are the 'Three Stooges' of the Queensland Government," he said.

"They are the laughing stock in legal circles and among sensible members of the community."

Topics:  bikie legislation, doug winning




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