Warwick police station and courthouse.
Warwick police station and courthouse. Molly Glassey

Italian man gives Magistrate a gobful, instantly regrets it

CHAOS of the European kind broke out in Warwick's Magistrates Court today the moment an Italian man "with an attitude problem" opened his mouth.

The Southern Downs man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his alleged victim, slouched at the bench before proceedings had even begun.

Magistrate Bevan Manthey was quick to set the accused straight.

"Hey, stand up mate," he snapped.

The man scoffed, while Mr Manthey read through his two DVO contravention and contravention of a police order charges.

Mr Manthey noted the seriousness of the charges, and asked the man if he'd found a lawyer.

'I've seen them many times, and it's always a waste of time," he said.

"I've been accused of doing nothing."

Mr Manthey held up the man's charge sheet, while speaking more sternly.

"We're not talking Mickey Mouse charges here. They are serious charges and we're talking jail time," he said.

The man spoke louder.

"I believe you are intelligent enough to understand what I am saying?" he said.

"Are you taking the mickey out of me?" Mr Manthey yelled.

The man was sent out of the courtroom to speak to the duty lawyer.

As he walked out of the court room, he mumbled something about "freedom of speech".


After refusing to speak to a duty lawyer Clare Hine, a Brisbane barrister Don Mackenzie offered to help as "friend of the court."

Fronting the court a second time, the man was more composed.

"I'm sorry. I apologise. I'm just very upset. I'm struggling to understand what I did wrong," he said.

Mr Manthey acknowledged the apology, saying he also owed the Mrs Hine a sincere sorry.

"Sorry," he said.

Mr Manthey made sure the accused man knew what he was in trouble for.

"My staff are not there for punching bags, they're not to be abused," he said.

"I won't put up with people who are aggressive.  I will lock them up and deal with them last."

The man is due to reappear in Warwick Magistrates Court February 15 to face charges arising from alleged harassment of an ex-boyfriend over Twitter.

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