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Magistrate says ‘I am not joking’ about probation order

WARWICK'S magistrate has jailed another offender for not complying with probation, continuing his tough stance on those who treat his orders "as a joke".

Jackson Bruce Watson was jailed for refusing to engage with counselling until his solicitor warned he was in danger of a jail term.

The court heard the threat of being locked up motivated the 20-year-old to re-engage with the court-ordered sessions, but it was too little, too late.

Magistrate Bevan Manthey said Watson had shown a "strong resistance" to the order and "didn't give a stuff about it".

Watson also pleaded guilty to an affray charge, after swinging a cricket bat at his sister during a midday fight in the main street.

The court heard the dispute also involved Watson's partner, who is expecting the couple's first child together.

Solicitor Bonnie O'Brien told the court her client was on a disability pension for a weak right arm that prevented him from lifting more than 2kgs.

"But you can swing a bat all right in an affray - no problems with that," Mr Manthey said. "But I suppose that isn't 2kgs."

Mr Manthey told the Warwick man that such attacks would not be tolerated.

"It is a public place, it's midday, it's outside the Cherry Tree Cafe and witnessed by numerous members of the public and no doubt kids," he said.

"It involved....waving a bat around in a menacing manner at the direction of his sister.

"It is just unacceptable behaviour in a public place that is so visible, no doubt causing fear, apprehension and disgust."

Mr Manthey said the Warwick man was a "persistent offender" who had already been benefited the opportunity of community-based orders, and jail was the only option.

"He's put himself in that position, he put his family in that position and no doubt any period of actual imprisonment will cause hardship to them," he said.

"I've got a real problem in this community with people who treat these probation orders as a joke.

"I've jailed people who have been given an opportunity on a probation order and they fail to take advantage of that.

"They need to know to treat these seriously and that if they are breached, they face imprisonment

"Otherwise I would be sending the wrong message."

Watson was sentenced to eight months' jail but he will be paroled after serving two months.

Topics:  jailed, magistrate, probation, tough, warwick



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