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Donna Capewell beats the system

By johnboy - 11 January 2012 5

The Canberra Times has the terrifying news that the Magiatrate’s Court has just given up completely.

Between 2006 and 2008, Capewell rorted the Commonwealth agency out of $10,000 by failing to declare income. Commonwealth prosecutor Anne-Marie Tucker yesterday said the Gordon woman was failing to declare as much as $1000 a fortnight at the time.

Capewell was convicted in November 2009 and ordered to complete 250 hours of community service.

A reparations order also instructed her to pay back the $10,000 but, as of yesterday, $4500 was still outstanding and 65 hours were uncompleted.

Magistrate Doogan made all the right noises about the authority of the court and the criminal justice system, but then just gave up completely:

Ms Doogan said no sentence other than imprisonment was appropriate, but she jailed the woman for nine days and released her after taking into account time served. Capewell will also remain on a good-behaviour order for 12 months and must pay court costs of $117. She was not required to finish the community service hours.

So basically, just ignore them and they’ll go away!

What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
Donna Capewell beats the system
screaming banshee 5:04 pm 11 Jan 12

How many staff are there in a court room at any given time…plus the cost of the lease/depreciation/maintenance of the building…plus administrative costs and so on.

How on Earth can courts costs be $117? Whether she’s pay or not is not the point, but shouldn’t court costs be determined on an actual operating cost basis rather than some figure that appears to have been plucked out of the air in 1971.

KeenGolfer 12:16 pm 11 Jan 12

Deref said :

I don’t pretend to understand the law. I’ve heard about precedent, though. Does this mean that if I steal $10k and get caught, I can cite this and get off?

No. Magistrates Court does not set precedents as they are the lowest court. Binding precedents are only set by higher courts. Other magistrates decisions can be used a a guide but they are certainly not binding like a supreme court decision.

Deref 11:40 am 11 Jan 12

I don’t pretend to understand the law. I’ve heard about precedent, though. Does this mean that if I steal $10k and get caught, I can cite this and get off?

Proboscus 11:19 am 11 Jan 12

Another dangerous precedent being set in our Canberra courts.

I remember being told that criminals in jail could ask a Magistrate to do extra time for outstanding fines at $100 a day (e.g. $500 fine = 5 days extra in the big house).

I’d be happy for Ms Capewell to spend 54 days in the Hume Hilton (45 days for outstanding $4500, 1 day for $117 court costs and 8 days for the outstanding 65 hours of Community Service) because she has already been found guilty of the crime.

If the Canberra courts enforced the above at least then the Magistrates and Judges would be slapping the faces, and not the wrists, of the scum who laugh at the system !!!

Erg0 11:18 am 11 Jan 12

Wonder if they’ll ever get the $117?

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