Convicted former One Nation candidate runs out of time

The man who claimed One Nation co-founders Pauline Hanson and David Ettridge lied about party membership numbers has had his application for more time to appeal a contempt of court conviction dismissed by the High Court.

After the 1998 election, Terry Patrick Sharples, a disendorsed One Nation candidate, alleged Ms Hanson and Mr Ettridge had lied about having 500 members for their party and called for One Nation to be deregistered.

Ms Hanson and Mr Ettridge were later both charged with electoral fraud and sentenced to three years' jail in August 2003.

Two and a half months later, the pair successfully appealed their conviction and jail sentence and were released.

But during their committal trial in August 2002, a magistrate found Sharples had “wilfully interrupted the examination of the witness” after he looked “directly” at a witness and said “Oh, he'll die; he'll die for that one” while sitting in the public gallery.

The magistrate recorded a conviction of contempt against Sharples and fined him $150.

Eight and a half years later, on March 28, 2011, Sharples lodged an application with the District Court for an extension of time to file an appeal and cite further evidence against his conviction.

Both applications were rejected with Judge David Andrews finding Sharples' “delay in seeking to bring the appeal more than eight years after the conviction was without satisfactory explanation”.

In his judgment, Judge Andrews added “even if an extension were to be granted and additional evidence adduced, the applicant would have poor prospects of succeeding on the appeal”.

In September last year, the Court of Appeal unanimously refused Sharples' application for an extension of time for leave to appeal Judge Andrew's District Court decision.

Sharples then appealed for more time to the High Court.

That application was also dismissed, with the judgment noting that “the interests of the proper administration of justice would not be served by the grant of an extension of time or special leave to appeal”.

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