Ron Owen in court
PROMINENT Gympie Justice of the Peace, shooting advocate and businessman, Ron Owen, has appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on an assault charge.
Mr Owen pleaded "definitely not guilty” in the court on Monday, saying the defence case would include evidence from six witnesses.
He is charged with one count of common assault on February 8.
Magistrate M Baldwin disqualified herself from hearing the case, indicating that as a long term Gympie resident, she knew Mr Owen.
"I've been around Gympie too long,” she said, adding that it would be "better for the sake of public perceptions if another magistrate heard the case”.
She adjourned the case for hearing to June 29, when she will be on leave, allowing a relieving magistrate to hear the matter, if it is not settled before then.
The date will also depend on the availability of legal representatives and the need for a possibly lengthy hearing.
"We've got six witnesses,” Mr Owen said.
He said he had been advised to make a written submission to police on the charges and the nature of his defence.