PHONE ERROR: Gympie Magistrates Court
PHONE ERROR: Gympie Magistrates Court Patrick Woods

Compound communication error in court

AN ORDINARY communication error combined with a telecommunication error to land a Nimbin man in Gympie Magistrates Court this week.

The court was told Torsten Goetz Witkopf, 59, was spotted using his mobile phone in his car last July 29.

He was seen by police, stopped in River Rd with his left hand indicator on and was not legally parked as required by law, the police prosecutor told the court.

The police officer then beeped his horn and told Witkopf to get off his phone, because he was still on the street.

Witkopf than drove part way around a corner, while still talking on the phone.

He then aggressively got out of his car, the court was told.

But the court heard Witkopf had honestly misunderstood the police instruction.

Solicitor Greg Wildie, appearing for Witkopf told the court his client suffered from some hearing loss and in order to use his phone had to remove his hearing aid, making it difficult for him to understand the police officer.

Talks to this effect with police were followed by a decision to drop an additional public nuisance charge.

But Witkopf admitted to breaching the mobile phone law, by using his mobile phone while in his car on a road.

Magistrate M Baldwin fined Witkopf $400, compared to the $365 ticket penalty.

Gympie Times


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