Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin treated a police search as 'unlawful' in court because they failed to provide their reasoning.
Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin treated a police search as 'unlawful' in court because they failed to provide their reasoning. Kevin Farmer

Police accused of using 'unlawful' search in court

A MAGISTRATE has spoken out against infringements on "civil rights" after police relied upon a search that appeared to be unlawful in court.

Andrew Peter Mclean Morris had his car searched by police on October 28 after he was pulled over on Bradman Ave about 11.15pm, the Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard.

The police prosecutor told the court officers found a pipe used to smoke ice under Morris's seat in a black case which he admitted to smoking from, but denied owning.

When asked by magistrate Matthew McLaughlin on what grounds the search was executed, the prosecutor revealed the case file only said that officers had "reasonably suspected he had drugs".

Mr McLaughlin told the court for police to search a person's car, they either need their permission or a warrant - neither of which were indicated on the file, leading him to proceed on the basis the search was unlawful.

Morris was further charged with stealing after he drove off without paying for $105 of petrol from the Puma service station in Kunda Park on October 27, which he was arrested for after the search.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to both charges of stealing and possessing utensils.

Mr McLaughlin fined Morris $100 for possessing the pipe, a significant discount on the $400 he was fined for the same offence earlier this year.

For the fuel drive-off he was fined $300 and ordered to pay $105 restitution with no convictions recorded.



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