FIGHT FOR RIGHTS: Janice Keys, pictured with her husband Peter, has called for tougher penalties on criminals. She has recently taken her case to LNP Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
FIGHT FOR RIGHTS: Janice Keys, pictured with her husband Peter, has called for tougher penalties on criminals. She has recently taken her case to LNP Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Chris Ison ROK290117cjustice1

Premier slams LNP's 'ludicrous' Rocky crime claims

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk claims a surge in criminals through the Rockhampton Magistrates Court reflects a tough approach to justice.

The Queensland leader hit back at Shadow Attorney General Ian Walker's claims offending was on the rise in Rockhampton because of her government's "soft on crime message".

The jab came as Mr Walker heeded Rockhampton woman Janice Keys' call to his Labor counterpart, Attorney General Yvette D'Arth, to hear first-hand her harrowing experience after a man high on LSD assaulted her in her home.

Mr Walker met with Mrs Keys' Tuesday, and while he did not wish to speak about the specifics of Mrs Keys' case given the potential for appeal, he noted crime was on the rise in Rockhampton citing a 60% increase in car thefts and 40% in unlawful entries.

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk takes to the floor address a crowd of hundreds at a community forum, held at the Rockhampton Leagues Club last Tuesday.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk takes to the floor address a crowd of hundreds at a community forum, held at the Rockhampton Leagues Club last Tuesday. Trinette Stevens

Ms Palaszczuk responded Mr Walker's claims were "ludicrous" and said the high number of defendants through the Rockhampton Magistrates Court over the past year indicated the government were persecuting more offenders.

"The Shadow Attorney General is obviously ignorant to the fact that the number of defendants through the Rockhampton Magistrate Court have increased under Labor; a sign that we are prosecuting more criminals through our justice system," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"According to Magistrates Court of Queensland Annual Report for 2015-16, there were 6572 defendants prosecuted through the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on 11,918 charges.

"In the 2014-15 financial year, half of which the LNP was in power, 5573 defendants were prosecuted through the court for 9875 charges."

 

The Premier spoke with Mrs Keys in Rockhampton last week after the 67-year-old pleaded "justice for Janice" in front of a crowd in the hundreds, sharing her horror during and after the November attack.

The previous day, Ms Palaszczuk had told The Morning Bulletin Ms Keys' plea was a matter for the prosecution. Days later, she announced a bail system review following a murder-suicide on the Gold Coast late last month.

Mother-of-four Teresa Bradford's estranged husband David Bradford was released on bail less than three weeks before he killed his wife and himself while their children were home.

Mrs Keys touched on the tragedy during Mr Walker's visit, vowing to "fight until her last breath" to ensure criminals were brought to justice.

Ms Palaszczuk's Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendement Bill 2016 - Section 93 (4) states, "A victim will be informed about the outcome of a bail application made by the accused and any arrangements made for the release of the accused, including any special bail conditions imposed that may affect the victim's safety or welfare."



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