The high security female sections of Clarence Correctional Centre, Grafton. Photo: Tim Jarrett
The high security female sections of Clarence Correctional Centre, Grafton. Photo: Tim Jarrett

New Year backlog results in wait for court matters

Delays in reaching inmates have been impacting court proceedings on the first sitting day of the year.

Local courts across the region have their first formal sitting day of the year for 2021 today.

Among the courts sitting today is Byron Bay Local Court, where one lawyer has expressed frustration at difficulties in reaching her clients who are being held on remand.

Solicitor Eddie Lloyd told the court she had eight clients who were in custody at the new Clarence Correctional Centre.

Ms Lloyd was able to speak to one client in time for him to appear before the lunch adjournment.

But she said it had been difficult to reach the correctional centre at all.

“(The phone) keeps hanging up,” Ms Lloyd said.

“It rings all the way through then hangs up.”

By 12.20pm, she had only been able to speak to one of her eight clients in custody, the court heard.

The court later heard 71 defendants being held at the new Clarence Correctional Centre were awaiting their court appearances listed for today.

The $800 million prison, which can house 1700 inmates, was officially opened last June.



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