Christine Zieth took the matter to the CMC last December.
Christine Zieth took the matter to the CMC last December. Vicki Wood

Claims of watchhouse 'abuse'

A NARANGBA mother and businesswoman claims she was belittled, assaulted and abused by staff at Caboolture Watchhouse after she voluntarily handed herself in for a crime dating back 27 years.

Christine Zieth, now 50, made headlines last week when she faced a 1985 charge of being in possession of a stolen car.

The unresolved charges were raised by police who visited her home last year on a separate matter and she agreed to hand herself in to police on December 21, with the understanding she would face Caboolture Magistrate's Court early that same day.

But Mrs Zieth has now revealed the matter she thought would be resolved quite quickly, dragged on for an agonising nine hours.

She claims senior watchhouse staff treated her like "a low-life dog who'd deliberately been on the run all these years".

"I was taken and thrown in the watchhouse all day, stripped of my boots, jewellery - they wouldn't even allow me to phone my husband to let him know what was going on," Mrs Zieth said.

"They wouldn't believe that I even owned a business, much less had a husband.

"This particular sergeant was brutal, insulting, belittling and abusive. "

They finally dragged me into court very late in the afternoon, handcuffed and barefoot."

Mrs Zieth said her husband Rob had phoned during the day to enquire about her matter, only to be told she was not there.

She was eventually fined $50 for driving and affixing false plates to the stolen car 27 years ago.

She took the matter to the Crime and Misconduct Commission last December but it decided it should be dealt with by the police service.

A CMC spokesman confirmed it had received the complaint from Mrs Zieth and referred it to police.

"As the matter is ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further at this time," he said.

A Queensland Police Media spokesman also confirmed the complaint had been received and was being investigated.

Mrs Zieth faced Maroochydore District Court last week on the outstanding charge of failing to appear in court back in 1982 and was placed on a $500/12-month good behaviour bond.



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