Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Court 'Loophole' Claim Denied

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Court 'Loophole' Claim Denied

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Irby ross.irby@northernstar.com.au

NEW Lismore Local Court magistrate Jeff Linden says Section 10 bonds that allow no conviction to be recorded in a proven offence should not be seen as a legal loophole.

Instead, he said the law allows magistrates some discretion in dealing with each case before them on its merit.

"It is a valid piece of legislation and an important sentencing tool," he said.

Mr Linden made the comments when asked about recent claims the Section 10 bond provision of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act allowed thousands of people to escape criminal conviction. Opposition Justice spokesman Greg Smith claimed one-in-six people who committed a crime in 2007 had no conviction recorded.

Mr Linden said Section 10 was part of a framework of diversionary schemes the courts were urged to use, including the Magistrates' Early Referral Into Treatment program and the Traffic Offenders program.

He said publicised figures on the numbers of Section 10 bonds being issued in NSW was deceptive because magistrate's dealt with all matters individually. …

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