Bev Lacey

'Shouldn't you be in custody?' judge asks defendant

A WOMAN appearing in a Toowoomba court on bail had a magistrate wondering why she wasn't in custody.

Fraulien Judess Hooper fronted Toowoomba Magistrates Court to plead guilty to possessing three syringe found during a police search of a Boundary St home on October 15 and then failing to attend the police station within seven days to provide her identifying particulars.

Flicking through her criminal history, Magistrate Robbie Davies noted the 48-year-old had been sentenced by the same court on June 12 to nine months in jail with an order that she could apply for release on parole immediately.

Prisoners who are given a parole eligibility date go into custody but can apply for release from that date, however, parole applications typically can take up to three months to process.

"I don't know why you weren't taken into custody seeing as you were given an eligibility date," Mr Davies asked Hooper.
The self-represented Hooper replied: "They put me in the watch house and then released me."

An officer from the Department of Probation and Parole told the court Hooper had not attended the department to be inducted on the order.

Mr Davies said the fact Hooper was somehow released from the watch house at her last sentence was not an issue for the court and that he would simply sentence her on the two charges before him and fined Hooper $400.

"I suspect Parole will be in touch with you very quickly," Mr Davies told Hooper as she left the court.