FIGHTING: Russell Gordon Haig Mathews with his dog Pyosik and supporter Robert Cronin at Ipswich Court.
FIGHTING: Russell Gordon Haig Mathews with his dog Pyosik and supporter Robert Cronin at Ipswich Court. Ross Irby

Man back in court accused of displaying 'obscene' signs

CHARGED for having a sign in his front yard deemed to be obscene, free speech enthusiast and classified a vexatious litigant, Russell Gordon Haig Mathews, was back before the court on Friday.

Pleading not guilty to the charge that he displayed obscene publications and exhibitions between February 1 and February 4 in his Booval front yard, 69-year-old Mathews pursued his belief that the Magistrates Court was not able to hear his matters.

He maintained his insistence it should go before the District Court - a stance that was ruled out by magistrate David Shepherd the previous week. He also refused to disqualify himself from hearing the case.

The questionable sign apparently had a sexual connotation deemed to be obscene by police.

Mr Shepherd listed the matter for mention after he last week ordered Mathews to meet with the court mental health liaison officer for a report to be done on any potential mental health issues.

It was done after Mathews raised the issue in court by saying he suffers brain damage.

On Friday the court mental health liaison officer told Mr Shepherd an interview had been done but more time was needed to complete the report.

With no objection from police prosecutor Jack Scott the case was adjourned to September 20.

Asked by the magistrate if he has a problem with an adjournment, Mathews replied: "Well, I have a problem with the whole lot of it".

"The Magistrates Court does not have jurisdiction and I've filed two more appeals today in this matter even though there is a vexatious litigant order against me," he said.

Mr Shepherd said Mathews could pick up a copy of the report from the Ipswich Court registry and would be phoned when it was ready.

Mathews disagreed and asked if it could be posted, saying, "I've been stuffed around. They (police) seized my phone".

Mr Shepherd helpfully suggested that he could drop by and pick it up as this may be quicker than Australia Post, although he did not know (if it would be).

Mathews said police had a search warrant at his house and had seized his computer - "I'm disadvantaged by having my computer stolen by police".

"And they stole one of my t-shirts," he said.

Mathews said he'd been charged with other matters, saying he was denied a fair trial with his computer taken.

Mr Shepherd said he could deal with any new charges when his case came back before the court in three weeks.



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