82-year-old Arthur Prince seeks ‘speeding’ justice
ARTHUR Prince admits he's had a couple of speeding tickets since he started driving in the 1940s, but it's the one he received outside a central Queensland school last year that has his blood boiling.
The 82-year-old Mount Morgan retiree was returning home from a trip to the post office on May 20, 2014, when he found himself driving into a long court battle against Queensland Police.
The aged pensioner's tiny income means he cannot afford lawyers so he has represented himself in the Magistrate's Court, where he was convicted of speeding, the District Court and this week in Brisbane's Court of Appeal.
That court's three justices on Thursday rejected his call for more time to appeal the original conviction, but he is considering taking the case to Australia's highest court.
Mr Prince says he was doing no more than 10kmh an hour in the 40kmh Mount Morgan High School zone on Lee St when a police officer signalled for him to pull over. A few minutes later the former Toowoomba resident had a ticket showing the radar clocked him doing 21kmh over the speed limit.
Mr Prince said he believed the person driving a car a few seconds ahead of him was the one who should have copped the fine - which has climbed from $360 to $737 thanks to court costs.
"I'd just took me foot off the brake," said Mr Prince, who relies on his car to get him to Gladstone to see his daughter and to Toowoomba to spend time with his ailing elderly sister.
"I'd just rolled around the corner.
"I followed this other bloke who went past me.
"He was definitely going fast so I took me foot off the brake and followed him."
In asking the court on Wednesday to give him extra time to appeal the District Court's decision upholding the speeding conviction, Mr Prince alleged he would not have been fined if he was willing to pay a bribe.
"When he (the other driver) got to the cop, the cop stood in the middle of the road," Mr Prince claimed.
"A hand came out (of the car window) and gave him something.
"Now I can't prove what it was - all I can say is something was passed from the car to the cop."
Mr Prince said he thought the police officer would waive the ticket if he handed over some money.
"The police are taking bribes," he alleged to the court.
"This has been my argument in the first place - he wanted me to pay him.
"There's no way I'm going to bribe him.
"As an aged pensioner I just can't afford to be bribing people."
Barely 10 minutes after entering the court room, justices Hugh Fraser, Anthe Philippides and David Jackson threw the case out.
"The submissions by the applicant do not even identify or assert any particular error in the decision by the District Court judge to refuse the appeal to the District Court," Justice Fraser said.
Speaking outside the court, Mr Prince said he would continue fighting for justice.
"The hardest part is I have no money," he said.
"At the moment I might go to the High Court of Australia. I might have to.
"It seems to me to be the only way to get justice."