Man on Centrelink welfare represents himself in Mount Isa District Court appeal

A MAN speaking English as his second language represents himself in the Mount Isa District Court.

He wants to appeal a magistrate’s sentence.

Carl Olssen, 46, pleaded guilty in the magistrate’s court to two counts of not giving breath and blood samples to police when required to do so. It’s these charges he appeals in the higher court, with the eventual use of a Fijian translator.

The matters are alleged to be connected to a drink driving charge. Mr Olssen said he had been asleep in his house when accused of refusing to have his blood alcohol level tested.

He said that a police officer treated him badly and the magistrate did not give the opportunity to explain his plea in more detail. Mr Olssen said he was fined $1000 and had his licence disqualified six months. 

Mr Olssen said he was trying to secure representation from Legal Aid, but that his case may not fit their criteria. He could not afford his own lawyer because he relied on government welfare. 

He received an Auscript transcript of his sentence, but said there were words missing from it.

If you keep talking over the top of me I’ll ask you to shut up and sit down for the rest of the day. - Judge Terry Martin

Judge Terry Martin said; “are you in the position to fill in the gaps of what’s in the transcript? Why don’t you write them down?”

“I’m not too sure what they are, Your Honour,” Mr Olssen said. He requested an audio recording of the sentence. 

“I don’t want to waste the court’s time but at the moment I’m on Centrelink and it’s not my culture to be on Centrelink.”

He then requested that he be given a fair sentence and that the judge “hear me out”.

He interrupted Judge Martin several times during the court mention on Monday.

The judge finally said; “if you keep talking over the top of me I’ll ask you to shut up and sit down for the rest of the day.” 

Judge Martin said the matter will likely be heard next week depending on the availability of an interpreter.

He approved Mr Olssen’s request to access the audio recording of the sentence.  

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