'Yes, your honour. I said you're a d**k.'
YOU don't call the magistrate a d**khead when you appear in a Queensland court - not for long anyway.
That was one lesson learned by a young man who briefly faced three months jail for contempt of court after he appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on Monday.
The next lesson was that the humiliation of an apology is preferable to the custodial alternative.
The man made the "d**khead" comment as he was led to the cells after being refused bail on serious domestic violence, bail breach, child pornography and indecent dealing charges.
After the man was taken away, magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist asked the man's legal representative if he would be willing to perform one extra duty for his client, involving passing on a message.
The message was that if Mr Stjernqvist did not receive an immediate and sincere apology from the young man, the magistrate would impose a three-month jail sentence for contempt of court, on top of any other punishments awaiting the young man.
The Torbanlea man, 21, who cannot be named because it may identify the alleged victims of his indecency or domestic violence, promptly reconsidered his position.
His solicitor returned to the court about 10 minutes later and reported: "I've had a meaningful discussion with him and he has instructed me to offer an unreserved and sincere apology and if you have in mind, he is willing to offer it personally."
"Bring him up," said the magistrate.
"Stand up Mr... ," Mr Stjernqvist said when the prisoner was delivered to the dock.
"Well you remember what occurred after you said you wanted to say hooray to your family and I said that's a matter for the police.
"On your way out after telling your family you loved them, do you recall what you said?"
"Yes, your honour," the man replied. "I said you're a d**k."
"...head," said the magistrate, completing the insult.
"Contempt is a serious charge." And the other charges against the man were also "very serious," he said.
Reading from the relevant Act, the magistrate told the young man of his power to impose a sentence "cumulative on any sentence they may receive, even in the future.
"Or I may accept from any person an apology for such conduct," he said.
"I do give my utmost apology," the man said. "It was unjust."
"It was," agreed Mr Stjernqvist, "and in this setting it was really stupid. You're free to go."
This did not mean the young man was actually free to go. While free of a contempt charge, he will remain in custody while he awaits his next court appearance.