Senior Associate, Tyronne Thomas, appeared before the Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday, 11 November 2022 where he made an application to vary his client’s bail. His client was granted bail in October 2020 in relation to a number of serious charges, including Murder and 13 other violent offences. The basis of the application was to have his client’s GPS tracker removed to allow him to pursue a promising basketball career.
Bail in Queensland is governed by the Bail Act 1980 (Qld) and section 11(1) sets out the conditions a Court can impose when releasing an offender on bail. This section is important as it states “shall not make the conditions for a grant of bail more onerous for the person than those that in the opinion of the court or Police Officer are necessary having regard to the nature of the offence, the circumstances of the defendant and the public interest”.
GPS tracking devices as conditions of bail were implemented by the Queensland Government on 31 March 2018. The purpose of the GPS tracking condition was to ensure offenders comply with their bail conditions. For example, the tracking condition is useful to allow Police to monitor offenders granted bail with a condition not to go within a certain distance of a suburb or a complainant to a charge.
Tyronne Thomas’ application on behalf of his client was on the basis that, although the conditions of his bail were not too onerous themselves, the GPS tracker was, and was preventing him from playing competitive basketball. In support of this application, affidavit material was provided that demonstrated he had a promising future in basketball and could play at a semi-professional level. Despite the seriousness of the offences, the application by Tyronne was successful and the Presiding Justice agreed that:
- His client had been on bail for over 2 years now with only 2 minor breaches that occurred 18 months ago;
- His client had significant support from the Basketball Administration and his Coach who were all aware of his charges; and
- The GPS tracker would prevent him from pursuing his semi-professional basketball career as he would be unable to play if it remained on.
Thus, the application to vary bail conditions was successful and his client’s tracker was therefore removed. This a great result for a client who can now pursue his career in basketball while his matter proceeds through the Courts.
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