Gympie Magistrate Chris Callaghan found himself under attack in Gympie Magistrate's Court this week.
Gympie Magistrate Chris Callaghan found himself under attack in Gympie Magistrate's Court this week. Renee Albrecht

'Is that a threat?' Shocking confrontation in Gympie court

THREATS of a high court appeal and treason charges against Gympie magistrate Chris Callaghan were part of a shocking confrontation in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday.

Price Adam Hill, 49, of Tamaree, challenged Mr Callaghan's authority, threatened legal action against the court for seeking to remand him and began yelling over the top of the magistrate.

Hill said he was contesting a court order that he pay $2500 compensation after being dealt with two years ago for a domestic assault with bodily harm.

Hill had been given a year to pay and had not yet done so, the court was told.

Hill said he had appealed in the District Court against another Gympie magistrate's 2017 compensation ruling and was now headed for the Supreme Court and possibly the High Court of Australia.

"I'm very confused as to why I have to keep appearing to explain myself as I've already said that when the process is done, the money will be paid.

"I don't understand your system,” Hill said.

"It's not my system,” Mr Callaghan said. "It's our system. It's the state's system. So we'll adjourn the show cause proceeding to, say, December...”

Hill said court appearances had cost him a lot of money because he was in business and had to hire "two or three people to do what I do.”

He repeatedly interrupted Mr Callaghan as Mr Callaghan attempted to remand him.

"Mr Hill, do not interrupt me,” Mr Callaghan said.

"What's your name?” Hill asked.

"My name's Callaghan. I will speak and you will be quiet, otherwise you'll end up over there,” Mr Callaghan said, indicating the courtroom dock.

At that point a woman in the public gallery told Mr Callaghan he did not have legal authority to give such orders. "This is a people's court,” she said.

Mr Callaghan: "Don't talk from the back of the court madam. Who are you?”

"I don't have to tell you who I am, but this is a people's court,” she said. "You don't have authorisation to just throw demands at people like that.”

"You don't have jurisdiction to even process this,” Mr Hill said.

Mr Callaghan: "Right, you will come back to this court...”

Hill: "Is that a threat? Or is it an order or is it voluntary?”

Mr Callaghan: "You are remanded to appear... "

Hill: "A threat again. Otherwise there'll be another warrant for my arrest, is that it?

Mr Callaghan: "... at 9am on 16 December, 2019.”

Hill: "Is that a threat?”

Mr Callaghan: "I don't care how you want to describe it, sir. Go away.”

Hill: "Go away? This is a court. This is what youse should be doing, going away.

"I'll have you charged with treason,” Hill said.

"You do that,” Mr Callaghan said.

"I will,” Hill said, before leaving the court with the woman from the public gallery.

Gympie Times


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