Daily Examiner

Fisherman throws out wrong line for court

TELLING a magistrate you've spent your time fishing instead of appearing in her court will not get you a good hearing.

Sandon Peter Pearson from South Grafton appeared in Grafton Local Court yesterday to appeal against two convictions in his absence earlier this year.

Pearson, 37, was convicted of assaulting police, possessing prohibited drug, having custody of a knife and offensive behaviour after a run-in with police in South Grafton on February 6.

He was also convicted of driving without a licence and driving in a manner dangerous to the public when arrested near Grafton Bridge on May 1.

Magistrate Robyn Denes said Pearson had told the court he had not appeared on May 20 because of threats from a motorcycle gang.

"It seems you're running a defence of duress or necessity because you feared for your life because of threats from the Gladiators," the magistrate said.

"You say you've been hit a number of times by members of the gang, but there are no medical records of these injuries.

"There's a deal of evidence that you were in Maroochydore and were aware of the court matters.

"When I asked you how you were spending your time there, you said 'fishing'.

"That does not seem like the answer of someone fearful for their life. It sounds like someone not wanting to come to court."

Ms Denes said the prosecution case was strong and there were no issues with the driving matters. She dismissed the appeal and adjourned the case for sentencing to November 24.

The police facts indicate Pearson was unreasonably optimistic in both arrests.

A routine patrol in Bent St, South Grafton on February 6 spotted him acting suspiciously while riding a pushbike without a helmet.

They followed him into Vere St and told him to dismount. Instead he rode off. Police intercepted him again in Kelly St by placing their car in his path.

He remained on the bike and directed some abuse at them.

Eventually he complied with directions and agreed to a search. It found a small amount of cannabis and a medium-sized flick knife.

He put his hands in his pockets, causing police to tell him not to make any sudden moves.

Pearson became more aggressive, asking police to fight him.

Pearson calmed down again, but when told he was going to be arrested, lashed out at one of the constables.

Police pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him.

He was taken to Grafton Police Station and charged.

On May 1 he made another unsuccessful attempt to escape when police tried to stop him near the southern approach to Grafton Bridge.

When told to pull over, he attempted to drive away quickly and almost collided with another car.

Bail was refused. As Pearson was being taken to the cells, he turned to a woman in the court and called out "love you baby".

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