Magistrate takes gamble with order

USING his last get out of jail card this week, Justin Morris walked out of Gympie Magistrates Court a free man after coming close to serving 18 months in prison.

It seemed inevitable that Morris would follow in his brother’s footsteps (John Morris was jailed for at least five months last week for a range of offences, some committed with Justin) but Gympie Magistrate Maxine Baldwin gave him the keys to the cell instead.

The court heard Morris committed three public nuisance offences while on parole for endangering a person in a vehicle and with a two-year suspended sentence hanging over his head for driving charges and obstructing police.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jason Todman sought a jail term for the new offences, but Mrs Baldwin was concerned if she sentenced Morris, 19, to prison, it would cancel his parole and he would end up serving 18 months.

“Very scary, Mr Morris ... I’m taking a huge gamble with an ICO (intensive correction order) but the other option is 18 months in jail. If you don’t report or do community service, you’ll be in jail until 2011. If you drink you know you will commit another offence.”

Morris was placed on a 12-month ICO and his suspended sentence extended by six months. “That’s a long time without a drink.”

Gympie Times


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