'Presumption of innocence is alive and well in this court'
A MORANBAH miner charged with strangling his girlfriend during an argument has been freed from custody on bail.
During Jamie Lee Brereton's bid for freedom in Mackay Magistrates Court on Thursday, Magistrate Damien Dwyer vented to the prosecution over a statement from a police officer which was tendered.
The senior constable's statement labelled the accusations against the 22-year-old as "offences", and not merely allegations.
Mr Dwyer fired up at prosecutors Nathaniel Gillis and Senior Constable Duncan Erskine, labelling the statement's error as "very serious".
The veteran magistrate pointed out the "presumption of innocence is alive and well in this court", and sarcastically suggested he may as well head home, since the senior constable had already determined Brereton's guilt by way of his statement.
"What am I here for? The offences have been committed. It's all over. (The officer) says it's all over, so what's the point of me?" Mr Dwyer exclaimed.
"The very first thing he says: 'The offences that have been committed'."
Mr Gillis and Snr Const Erskine apologised for the officer's error and soldiered on, but the bail hearing did not progress in their favour.
Mr Dwyer described the prosecution's objection to Brereton's bail - on charges of assault occasioning bodily harm, choking, wilful damage, possessing marijuana, possessing a grinder and possessing drug utensils on March 7 - as "an objection you have when you have no objection".
He said Brereton, who had been brought up from Mackay Watchhouse after his arrest, had no criminal record and "the aggrieved says there's never been anything before this".
Mention was made of an alleged violent argument, borne out of Brereton "getting on the grog at the golf course, coming home and having a blue about looking at some other girl".
Brereton's defence solicitor Steven Hayles, of Macrossan & Amiet Solicitors, said his client would live with his family in Moranbah should bail be granted.
Mr Dwyer did release Brereton on conditional bail, and adjourned the case to Moranbah Magistrates Court in early June.
He can't contact the woman he's alleged to have assaulted, must abstain from alcohol and has to live at a particular Moranbah address.