A judge in Ipswich, Australia, briefly jailed a defendant last week in a move one city councilman says is just un-Australian.
In a hearing in Ipswich Magistrates Court, Thomas John Collins, facing charges of drunken driving, driving without a license and driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle, addressed Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin as “mate.”
“I'm not mate... I'm sir or your honor,” McLaughlin told Collins, according to a report in the Queensland Times.
“Okay, mate,” Collins replied.
McLaughlin ordered Collins held for contempt in the courthouse lockup, where he spent about a half-hour before coming back to court and apologizing. His next hearing is November 12.
Ipswich city Councilor Paul Tully said McLaughlin needs to lighten up, according to a report in the The Courier-Mail.
Nothing is “more Australian than calling someone mate," Tully said. “Calling someone mate is a term of endearment."The councilor said the handling of Collins’ case marked the second time recently a Queensland magistrate had someone detained for a minor transgression. In August, another magistrate ordered two men working on courthouse refurbishments sent to the courthouse lockup for an hour for making too much noise while doing their work.
Tully called on Queensland’s chief magistrate to introduce anger management classes for those on the bench.
"I say to every magistrate – Come on mate, get off your high horse and show some tolerance," Tully said.