Boat hearing delayed after no show
TWO tardy witnesses almost scuttled a prosecution case of a stolen boat in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday.
Zane Rene Cook was due to face a hearing for allegedly stealing a boat from Kawungan and selling it on eBay.
The court was kept waiting, however, when key prosecution witnesses failed to appear throughout the morning, in spite of indications to the arresting officer only the day before they would attend.
Several attempts to call the witnesses yesterday morning after they failed to show also proved in vain.
The court heard the two witnesses are a male and female from Taree, New South Wales, and it is alleged they bought the boat on eBay from Mr Cook.
Magistrate Tom Killeen stood the case down to give police a chance to find the missing couple.
By the afternoon, however, police from Taree reported the pair was still in NSW, citing car problems and lack of funds to pay for fuel to appear in Hervey Bay.
They said they did not have a mobile phone and did not hear the calls to their landline throughout the day.
Mr Killeen said it seemed to him as though the witnesses “may be reluctant to appear” and as such it could be difficult for the case to go ahead.
In spite of this, Mr Killeen ordered a one-week adjournment to give the prosecution the opportunity to produce its evidence.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Jeanette Grigoris said it was not a simple matter of issuing a warrant for the couple for failing to appear when subpoenaed, as they lived out of state.
The alleged offence was said to have occurred after a break-in in Bottlebrush St last year.