Truckie's convictions overturned by miscarriage of justice

A NORTH Queensland truckie who was allegedly involved in a crash before taking a concoction of drugs and hitting the long open roads has had his convictions overturned.

Glen Michael Robert Condon, 36, was charged with driving without due care after his prime mover, complete with trailer that was carrying a hatchback and a commercial grader, crashed on October 11 last year.

The crash occurred on the Kennedy Hwy at Walkamin after the prime mover failed to negotiate a bend.

Condon was later interviewed at the Gympie Police Station and was subsequently charged with a string of drug and traffic-related offences.

Condon failed to appear in court on the first occasion and appeared via telephone on another occasion after the matter proceeded through the criminal justice system.

But the prosecution told the court that Condon had entered guilty pleas to the charges on May 26 and the magistrate endorsed the file and set the matter down for sentencing on October 17.

Subsequently a magistrate convicted Condon on all the charges and sentenced him to two years probation and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

Condon appealed the decision in the Cairns District Court last week. He claimed the magistrate had erred in his decision and the convictions were a miscarriage of justice.

He further claimed the magistrate had acted in a biased manner.

Judge Dean Morzone, in handing down his findings this week, agreed there had been a miscarriage of justice and ordered the convictions be overturned.

He further ordered the case be sent back to the magistrates court for retrial.

"There was no factual basis or proof of evidence that supported a finding that any pleas of guilty were entered on May 26," he said.

"The magistrate erred by mistaking the facts, acted without evidence, and allowed erroneous or irrelevant matters to guide or affect him.

"I am not satisfied that Condon effectively pleaded guilty.

"Consequently, the conviction and sentence was fundamentally flawed and there has been a miscarriage of justice."

- APN NEWSDESK.



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