New police practices to stop court delays
ROCKHAMPTON solicitors whose clients have serious charges have been advised of new practices put in place to cut down on delays and items missing in full police briefs.
A letter circulated to the secretary of the Central Queensland Law Association, written by David Mills of David Mills Lawyers, pointed to the advice he received after making inquiries with Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath last month pointing to issues with statements and evidence missing from 'full briefs'.
Mr Mills states in the letter that he had been advised by Police and Corrective Service Minister's chief of staff Ellen Mcintyre of new practices.
"Inspector Chris Lawson, Capricornia Police District, who is the District Brief Manager will overview the functions for all affidavits prior to them being presented in court to ensure the highest quality...” the advice reads.
Mr Mills made the inquiries when Magistrate Mark Morrow was stood down from his role after publicly demanding an explanation from police over repeated justice delays.
Mr Morrow stated in court in August that he did not want to see a repeat of Troy Allan Donovan's case. Mr Donovan was remanded in custody for two years on a manslaughter charge which was later dismissed.
The charge was finally dismissed when medical records ruled out Mr Donovan's actions as causing of death of his defacto.
In his letter, Mr Mills said three of the eight cases under scrutiny by Magistrate Morrow were clients of his firm.
One was remanded in custody since his arrest. Police prosecution never disclosed that methamphetamines needing analysis had been misplaced for five months.
"There are many other examples that, despite declarations to the court by police prosecutions, only partial briefs are provided; crucial statements absent, missing exhibits and cases where indexes are not even included...,” Mr Mills wrote.
"This firm is deeply concerned over a lack of oversight with the preparation of police briefs at the Rockhampton Police Station.”