Magistrate says a community service order is not a 'joke'

MAGISTRATE John Smith has this message: Community service orders are no joke.

Mr Smith said he was sick and tired of offenders not taking community service orders seriously, thinking they'll "go away" after a certain period of time.

He was considering giving convicted serial thief Shannon Dwayne Fisher jail time over not completing his assigned 100 hours.

The 40-year-old Hervey Bay man is already serving time at the Maryborough Correctional Centre after a gambling addiction led him to commit serious fraud offences.

Fisher, who appeared in Maryborough Magistrates Court on Thursday, did make an attempt to comply with the court order and completed 49.25 hours.

A Queensland Corrective Service representative recommended for Fisher to be given a fine for not finishing the hours, but Mr Smith said he could not see how that would teach the offender a lesson.

Fisher already owes more than $6000 from court fines to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry.

"He has made no attempt to pay for any of his court fines since 2014," Mr Smith said.

"What's the point of a fine if they don't pay it.

"He should not have agreed to community service if he wasn't prepared to do it. He should have been jumping in saying he'll complete it as soon as possible."

Mr Smith said the recommendation of a fine from the QCS made it look like community service orders were considered a "joke."

Fisher's defence lawyer Warren Hunter said work commitments kept his client from finishing the 100 hours.

Mr Hunter suggested Fisher should pay $20-25 for each unfinished hour, and said that if Mr Smith imposed a jail term he would be "breaching in front of the bench."

Mr Smith convicted and fined Fisher $750, giving him one week to pay. If the payment is not made within that frame, Mr Smith said there would be consequences.

"We'll now find out if you are a person of honesty," Mr Smith said.


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