look what can happen when you forget to pay for your bacon and eggs

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:35
ThreadID: 30073 Views:3581 Replies:50 FollowUps:90
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while on holidays over xmas, travelling from brissy to karumba and back, i left a cent qld town not realising that i hadnt payed for brekky. when pulled over by the police in the next town i expected an rbt or "did you know this fell of the back of your ute?"despite my offering to pay the bill and an apology, i was taken back to the police station, photographed, fingerprinted ,charged, and asked to appear in a courthouse [several hundred kilometres from home] at a later date.. despite a clean record and not having ever being charged with anything in my 36 yrs, i am not allowed to have my court transferred to a local court unless i plead guilty. there is no way on earth that i will plead guilty to such a low life act of selfishness. honest people do make honest mistakes...of course i intend to seek proffessional legal advice, but for the moment , can anyone say if accidental non payment is enough for a judge to charge me with shoplifting or does intention to leave without paying need to be assumed by a judge prior to pronouncing me guilty?...so far several great character refs from friends and business associates dont seem to be helping me much..
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:49

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:49
Sounds like the owner of the business where you ate is a relative of the local Police Superintendent.

You're in deep muck russ.

Unbelieveable how they can make their resources react quickly to a low level incident when they want to.
Bill


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AnswerID: 150641

Reply By: japmel - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:51

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:51
Mate ya do the crime you have to do what the Law says.

And if they want you in a court in Central Queensland then thats where you have to be.
You will probably be found not guilty. But if you look at it from the complainents side why should they have to travel to your town to go to court when it was your mistake.

Regards
japmel
AnswerID: 150643

Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:53

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:53
there is a huge difference between a scumbag who walks out on a lady who has cooked him a really nice breakfast, and allowed him to use her own personal bathroom. and someone who genuinly forgot that he hadnt paid when he first ordered his meal.. i am guilty only of forgetfullness, do i deserve extreme inconvenience, a record, and expense for that?
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Follow Up By: japmel - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:12

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:12
Russ,
Yes there is a big difference between a genuine mistake and out and out theft.

But how do we know which one you are. Thats for the court to work out, Not us on this forum.

The law is the law and we all have to obey it, Even if it is a silly mistake.

Regards
japmel
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Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:15

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:15
thats better
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Follow Up By: japmel - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:24

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:24
Mate I didn't see anything wrong with my original responce
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Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:39

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:39
'crime' is something done by a criminal, forgetfullness is done by someone who is forgetfull .. when you spell response incorrectly, its not a crime , just a mistake.....and i really dont care if you spell every second word wrong here. we all make genuine mistakes
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:41

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:41
japmel,

Your original response was erroneous because you suggested he had "done the crime".

A crime apparently requires many factors such as pre-meditation and intent.

Mistakes are not crimes.
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Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:52

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:52
i have to say in fairness to you japmel that i'm a touch sensitive at the moment, i'm dinkum true blue bloody honestly wouldnt steal a damn thing of anybody and it doesnt feel good to be accused of this by the cental qld people. i have no trouble admitting i forgot to pay, but will always seriously defend intentional theft.
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Follow Up By: japmel - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:04

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:04
Thanks for your last responce Russ, I was just about to get all upset.

My mention of the word crime was not really directed at you I mearly used it for want of a better word.

After all if you leave a place without paying the bill is that not a crime??

Anyway I hope all goes well for you.

Regards
japmel
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Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:02

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:02
thanks japmel
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Reply By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:51

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:51
Did this in the UK once at a burger joint, yes it's easy to do, I quickly remembered and went back.

I think the problem they will have is "when you did remember (as they assume normally happens) why didn't you return to rectify the situation".

I can empathise with you as I nearly do it every time I'm at the local 'Coffee Club'.

In the wash out with your clean record and 'the benefit of the doubt' you will prob end up with a legal bill and costs plus whatever????

What a PITA.
AnswerID: 150644

Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:58

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:58
i didnt remember at all , when the police officer questioned me about it on the side of the road i had to stop and think about it..it was only then that i remembered, apoligised and offered to pay the money, but he wasnt interested, had he not pulled me over, i would be none the wiser today that anyone was out of pocket.
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Reply By: Des Lexic - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:54

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 20:54
Did you take off in a hurry or did you casually and slowly drive off like an innocent person would. Perhaps they serve bacon and eggs in the lock up then you will get them for nothing.
Tell them your 14yo ethnically challenged kid made you do it.
Sorry about my bad taste attempt at humour but years from now you might see the funny side of it.
AnswerID: 150646

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:23

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:23
Must be something about either South Australians or mental incompetence or is it just the heat?? (I am referring to a previous post by another well-known crapper onner on this forum).

Definitely bad taste Mr Donut

Bugger glass houses....lol
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Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:00

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:00
just drove out of town like i always do out of any town, and no i dont have a problem with your sense of humour, will always be fond of bacon and eggs
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Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:01

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:01
Hi Russ ,
I have done this and many of my friends have too . It is absurd that you were charged . The cop must have been a real pig . He could have escorted you back to the restaurant where you could have apologised and paid them , but no , he wants to be an absolute turd .
Good luck ,
You will get off , but it will be very inconvenient for you .
Cheers ,
Willie .
AnswerID: 150647

Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:27

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:27
Yeah.... almost as inconveniant as the poor shop owner who had to pay for someone elses meal for perhaps the umpteenth time that month....
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Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:07

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:07
i dont think its absurd that i was charged, as its a serious immoral act if its intentional, and the copper was only doing his job, refering it to court so it can be sorted out elsewhere , as he probably has better things to do. he was actually very friendly,polite, calm and respectfull towards me.its just a pita having to deal with it so far away. thanks for your wishes of good luck
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Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:13

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:13
yes brian i feel sorry for any shop owner who gets ripped off, and i feel sorry for myself when i dont get payed for building work that i do. we all know what it feels like, just a shame that sometimes the real thiefs escape , thats why people jump at the chance to charge someone , even if its a genuine mistake, another case of a few makeing it hard for everyone else
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FollowupID: 404198

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:32

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:32
Well I think it's a joke that you were charged . Hell , we have all done that or nearly done it . I bet the guy that owned the restaurant and the copper, had done the same thing at some stage .

Twice I have driven out of my local servo without paying and then returned sheapishly later when the pennys dropped . They just laughed - maybe I was lucky not to be finger printed and charged .

IT IS ABSURD TO BE CHARGED FOR THAT .

If it was the shop owner who insisted you be charged , I reckon he is a jerk . Why were you not taken back to the restaurant so that you could explain yourself ? If the copper treated you well , it does not sound like it was his decision to charge you .

I hope whoever is responsible for having you charged , finds himself or herself in the same situation and gets the same treatment .

Our courts are overflowing at the moment and stupidity like this does not help fix that .

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Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:04

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:04
willie, if i did it intentionally, [and i am the only one who knows the truth here],i should be charged and have the matter refered to a court where all the facts can be examined by a trained judge in a proffessional manner ....if the cops didnt charge people just because the thieves said"i forgot to pay",the thieves would have a ball just helping themselves to anything and everything....remember the original claim from the shop owner...".i made him brekky and he just bleep off without paying"....its not trivial at all if its intentional, its a crime that deserves a bloody good flogging.....i just wish i had forgot to pay at a place only 50 k from home!
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:27

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:27
Russ ,

I was incensed that you got charged - it seemed so unnecessary .

I have just logged on again . I was watching the tennis and I was thinking to myself "you are a creep , fancy calling that cop a pig a when he had actually treated the guy very well ". I deserve a serve for such ignorance . My apologies to the police force .

Make sure you get some good legal advice on this . Don't make the mistake of just turning up and pleading your case and thinking that everything is sure to turn out OK . It is going to cost you money to get out of this piece of stupidity .

Good luck ,

Willie .
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Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:10

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:10
thanks wilie, i can understand your emotional post that included a bit of name calling, i can assure you at times of frustration and anger at this situation i have thought ill of people involved, luckily i have a tonne of goods friends all serious about backing me up, so its time to just get the right advice and prepare accordingly
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:10

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:10
Russ, I cannot offer advice.

One thing I can do though, is try to at least put a smile on your face....

Have a look at the RELATED KEYWORD MATCH....

"DRIVING SKILLS!!!"

Now, how cool is that?

Wolfie
AnswerID: 150649

Reply By: D-Jack - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:13

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:13
Russ and everyone else,

can you imagine if the Police took the word of everyone that stole something and let them off? Russ, I believe you, but intention need not necessarily be a purposeful act to deprive, it can also be negligance. I would imagine the place you bought the B&E from probably has heaps of driveoffs and gets jack of it all. You have effectively stolen, and it would be like walking out of a supermarket with something in your hand and saying ' I forgot I had it'

Having said that, I reckon you will be found guilty if you choose to dispute the matter, but most probably without conviction (no criminal record) being your first offence, and a smallish fine/costs.
AnswerID: 150651

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:02

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:02
Wrong.
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Reply By: bouncer - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:23

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:23
I can't believe the cop actually booked you for this.

A few years back here in W.A. I was eating at a local 24 hour place and a guy did a runner without paying for his meal.

The lady behind the counter screamed at him to stop and I legged it after him and crash tackled him about 100 meters down the road, dragged him back. The lady called the cops they arrived and on the side told her that all they could do was try and frighten him in to paying but if he refused they really was nothing they could do as it was classed as a civil offense as a meal is a service and not goods so therefore could not be "stolen" only "not payed for" don't know if this is still the case or if different states look at it as stealing but certainly something to ask a professional.

LOL I got free deserts for 6 months after that.
AnswerID: 150655

Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:28

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:28
cop was just doing his job, trying to charge what could have been a proper ratbag. thats what they are there for.. i rang the police when my motorbike was stolen , and made sure i bloody thanked 'em properly when they found the germ who stole it
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Reply By: Willem - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:26

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:26
You have yourself to blame.

Go to court, plead guilty to an honest mistake and wear the consequences.

Most likely the magistrate will see your point of view.

Take your references with you. They might help.
AnswerID: 150657

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:43

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:43
Willie,

That's poor advice.

Never plead guilty to a crime you haven't commited.

A mistake is not a crime.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:59

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:59
It is not advice...it is a suggestion

In the end you are respeonsible for your own actions

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FollowupID: 404188

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:09

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:09
Advice/suggestion/recommendation/counsel????

Call it what you will.

It was ill informed.

Neither you, nor I, are lawyers.

This man needs Professional advice, he should not have sought it here.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:37

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:37
Jimbo, the crime was committed, as admitted to in the original post.

The only debate will be if it was intentional or not.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:42

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:42
Here we go again Jimbo....down your self righteous path

Get a life mate or go bush or just go away
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:46

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:46
Shaker,

It is up to as court to determine whether a crime was committed.
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:59

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:59
Willie,

I just believe in fairness and justice.

This chap needs a fair go and fair justice.

You call it self righteous??? Can't I disagree with you?

"Get a life mate or go bush or just go away". Your wit astounds me, ROFLMAO.

This is Australia, we operate under the Westminster system. I suggest you read up on it.

And I re-iterate, your advice to this fellow was dubious at best, but actually negligent. Don't delve into that which is outside your area of expertise.

Don't be so sour old boy LOL.

Cheers,

Jim.

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FollowupID: 404239

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:11

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:11
What is it with middle aged blokes who are trying to give up smoking?
Or is it the small man syndrome?
Or small 4x4 syndrome?

Attack attack attack!!! No matter how dumb it may be.

Just in case you are unaware, this is an open forum.
Open to comment, that is.
Once you have posted here you are seen to be eliciting comment.
If someone is so stupid as to take advice from a total stranger on this forum then they deserve what they get

Go to bed...you are full of crap!

And yes I know how the Westminister system operates
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FollowupID: 404244

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:17

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:17
Jimbo, they dont need to if you admit to the crime as the following quote from the original post:

>

The hardest thing to prove in this case will be that it was an honest & genuine mistake, which it most probably was.
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:41

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:41
As per usual Willie you resort to insults and abuse when someone dares to disagree with you.

And you wonder why you get hate mail????

You seriously need to lighten up. Smile once in a while.

I'm beginning to feel for you, I'd hate to be so bitter.

Anyway, good luck with your projects.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:55

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:55
And I suppose the term 'old boy' isn't meant to be demeaning? Or being insulting about Australian knowledge.

Glass houses mate. It seems to cut both ways.

Come to think of it that mail might have come from you?

As I said to another forumite who keeps on giving me grief. Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone.

But your ego prevents you from doing just that, eh?

Stay out of my life and I will stay out of yours. Give me unneccessary grief and I will respond until the post is deleted.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:13

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:13
Come on fellas...

I find it's good sometimes to count to ten (or even a hundred), make a cup of tea, take a walk around the block or even sleep on it, before I press this button. e.g this follow up took 2 days ;-)

!MPG:13!
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:22

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:22
Cheer up Willie.

I can't stop smiling. You keep me entertained.
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Reply By: Member - toohey - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:39

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:39
g'day russ
tell the beak it was the worst feed you ever had and you left most of it in the chit house,you was that crook you forget to pay for it,might work.
cheers toohey.
AnswerID: 150663

Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:44

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:44
yes, its always important to be able to have a laugh at ourselves no matter how serious , thanks ocker
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Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 12:15

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 12:15
What a great idea - compound the problem by lying in court, known as perjury.

That's sure to help.

Most responses are viewing the situation from the alleged offender's perspective, when the situation should be viewed at least equally from the alleged victim's.

That's why the only way to resolve it is in the court. The court system is designed for the benefit of all the community and will adjudicate this matter properly.

Maybe not relevant, but if the Police in the area are quality people doing their duty as it seems they are, it probably indicates that the judiciary will be the same and you will receive the correct decision.

I'm not a lawyer, but common threads for avoiding conviction seem to be
- genuine remorse
- immediate offer of restitution
- out of character
- no previous record
- seeking diagnosis and treatment for afflictions

Good luck!

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Reply By: Footloose - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:50

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:50
Russ, you need Legal advice. It should never have gone that far, but as others have said thats the law (and yes it's an ass but its the only one we have).
Years ago I forgot to pay for fuel. I just ambled off and in my zombie had no sleep for a week and forgot about it. Now I'd bought thousands of $ of fuel from that place. They knew me, had my number plates, (could have gotten my number easily) and could of just rung me. Heck, they could of waited 2 days until I bought more fuel. Nope, standing orders was to report to the police, who appeared at my door at 2 am. Luckily they realized that it was a genuine case. But I always make sure that I've paid for fuel now.
AnswerID: 150668

Reply By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:50

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 21:50
Seriously Russ,

Spend a small amount of dough and get GENUINE legal advice. Most legal firms these days will do $20 for 20 minutes; some even do a first consultation free.

Flick through your Yellow Pages and make a few calls.

Asking legal questions here will only get you the opinions of travellers.

It's a bit like asking your Dentist how to stop your roof leaking.

Cheers,

Jim.
AnswerID: 150669

Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:23

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:23
jimbo, you posts reek of rationality, commonsense ,and responsible advice, thanks
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:34

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:34
Just trying to help with something I have no training, or expertise, to advise on.

Good Luck, let us know how you go.
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 02:42

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 02:42
Id like to see your lawyers round here it is $60 just to take a seat
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 10:48

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 10:48
Amalgam WILL stop your roof leaking
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
.

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FollowupID: 404591

Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 19:47

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 19:47
If my roof leaks and floods the bedroom, will it become a root canal?

But seriously folks, that's the best advice yet. I copped the rough end of a pineapple at the hands of an overzealous junior country cop once and it is not fun at all. Ended up costing me my drivers licence and as a consequence my job in the end.

You're reputation and police record is very a serious matter - treat it as such, even if the costs seem disproportionate to the actual matter at hand. Talk to a well regarded lawyer.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew(WA) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:00

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:00
Only you know the truth russ...and if you plead not guilty, the rest will be presented to the court in the form of evidence from witnesses (if there are any)

What a lawyer will tell you is that the prosecution have to prove you stole the meal 'intentionally'...that is that you formed a deliberate thought to walk out without paying and that is was not an honest mistake.

The prosecution must prove their case 'beyond reasonable doubt' that is the test based on the facts presented. The judge can't make a guilty finding if he 'thinks' you did it, he must believe beyond all reasonable doubt that you formed the intent and carried out the act.

Why would you contemplate pleading guilty to something if you didn't do it? Go to court and have your day if that's what has to happen.

Based on the facts as you portray them, it seems an honest mistake. And you obviously would have admitted that to the cops! yes?

Make sure you repay the shop owner if you haven't already, before your court day.

But then again, I am NOT a lawyer...seek appropriate advice. You'll be fine.
AnswerID: 150673

Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:07

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:07
thanks andrew!
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Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:05

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:05
Russ,

Bad luck mate- BUT you did not pay attention as well as the bill. I was just a little over Officer - booked .... I totally forgot the speed limit officer - booked. I totally forgot I had one too many - booked....ra rar rar .....

I know it can happen as it did to me (similar thing) and my son is a copper. So Russ take it on the chin and move on. It will cost you a bloody sight more to contest it than the cost of the meal and the fine (probably small if you plead guilty - well you did do it but unintentionally).

AnswerID: 150677

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:07

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:07
Glad you brought it up Crazy, my roof has this leak see...
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:16

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:16
"Take it on the chin"

Are you Fair Dinkhum?

A bloke made a simple mistake and you suggest he should plead guilty to being a criminal????

This is Australia, we have a presumption of innocence. I hope your Son has been taught this or is the Terry Lewis mentality still prevalent?
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:43

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:43
Yes Jimbo , I agree - it would be absurd to plead guilty .
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Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:21

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:21
"Take it on the chin"?!?! WTF? Have you never heard of principles? I would sure as hell contest it if I find myself in a similar situation - why should a simple lapse of memory over what was probably an $8-15 meal result in a criminal record?

Surely once this is all sorted we can hear the name of the place and avoid it like the plague. It would have to be the owner/manager of the place that asked for a charge to be laid. I understand that he may have felt he needed to act that way if "drive offs" have been a recurring problem - in which case he should change his business model to address the problem and ask for payment with the order. Many cafes do this already.
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Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:30

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:30
I'm with crazy dog. Just because it's unintential it doesn't mean it didn't happen. If you unintentinally run a red light you're still giulty.

I reckon if he pleads guilty, the judge might let him off with a warning and no criminal record.

If he pleads innocent then they'll prove him guilty BECAUSE HE DID NOT PAY.

They'll put him in the witness stand and ask-
"Did you order and eat breakfast?"
"Yes"
"Did you pay?"
"No"
"No more questions, thank you. You may step down"

When he's found guilty he'll have to deal with the costs of the court and lawyers and witnesses. It could add up to thousands of dollars.

It must've been a slow day for the cops in that town.

R.

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Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:09

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:09
scubaroo, EXACTLY, but without the need to avoid the joint, from her point of view , she's just trying to run a business, and its got to anger her when people do the wrong thing....
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Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:30

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:30
Guy's Iv'e heard it all before...do the crime do the time. Personal attacks don't wash....
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:43

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:43
Settle down Crazy, you'll end up going mad like me :)
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:00

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:00
. . . or worse and become Twin Dogs or Two Dogs!
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:46

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:46
You're looking kinda cute these days Paul. I'll have to lay off the VB :)
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Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:32

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:32
By the way it's not criminal only a misdemeanour....

Oh! why do I bother .....

Not wasting any more time on this.......
AnswerID: 150682

Reply By: gramps - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:48

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:48
Russ36,

Like the rest of the guys here I am not a lawyer but you had better seek some professional advice.

Think hard about exactly what you did when you left until Officer Plod swooped to save the planet. Your actions and demeanour from when you left the eatery until you finally left the police station MAY help your case.

Good luck
AnswerID: 150693

Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:52

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 22:52
A friend of mine was in K-Mart & picked up a some drill bits, he then went to get something else that was big & on a high shelf, he put the 2 drill bits in the top pocket of his overalls while he got the object down, he then went on to buy a few groceries, as at that time the K-Mart was joined to Coles New World, he totally forgot about the drills, was apprehended by store security & charged.
He went to court, told them he had absolutely no intention of stealing the drill bits, was found guilty & fined $700. The magistrate said it was to be a lesson to him for showing no remorse.

He walked off, you drove off!
AnswerID: 150694

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:02

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:02
Must have had a dud Barrister.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:12

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:12
Why, he took them, didn't say he was sorry, simple as that!
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FollowupID: 404245

Follow Up By: marcus - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 10:31

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 10:31
C'mon Jimbo he got out of it cheap as the barrister would have cost him a grand.
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FollowupID: 404590

Reply By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:19

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:19
b4 i hit the sack, it would be nice to forget this garbage and remember that on the trip i did meet some really nice people,found a pearler of a campsite with barra on the doorstep, had icy cold beer from my new fridge despite the intense xmas heat, didnt do a tyre, and my wolfhound cross never got eaten by a croc! cant wait to go to karumba again, maybe take the coastal route next time
AnswerID: 150700

Follow Up By: Joombi - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:22

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:22
Russ,
Don't let this put you off the QLD country towns mate, just a point of interest, was the copper by himself & a young bloke?, I got let off (Luckily) going through roadworks 11 k's Emerald side of Clermont on a weekend & not seing the 60 sign, went through sitting on 100k, thats a automatic loss of licence for 6 months and a $700 fine, this cop was by himself & just gave me a very stern warning, I just think your cop was doing his job just a little too well & had to follow up from a report I suppose... still... having to go back for court sucks!!!
Rick.....
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FollowupID: 404445

Follow Up By: russ36 - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 05:38

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 05:38
joombi, yes, young officer, alone
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FollowupID: 404543

Reply By: Trekkie - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:23

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:23
Russ
When you realised what you had done (regardless of your opinion of the cop) did you go back and apologise and pay for the meal.

(When you go to court this could have a bearing on the outcome - do you think?)
AnswerID: 150701

Follow Up By: Member - Reiner G (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:52

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:52
I was thinking just that........ Why didn't Russ go back and pay anyway? wonder what they could do than?
Plus you could have explained to the shopowner how sorry you are and it might all had gone away...
not saying it coulnd't happen to me.....but that's what I had done

I don't think you get 10 years Russ :-)

cheers
Reiner
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FollowupID: 404259

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 01:26

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 01:26
Well spotted Trekkie, I just came and read the thread again because the same thing occurred to me.

IMO the honorable thing if you've wronged someone whether on purpose or not is to try and put it right.

Russ, once you had been made aware of the mistake did you attempt to correct it?

Did you try and make it up directly to the person who you wronged (by walking away without paying for your meal)?

IMO if you made it right with the person you wronged, if they are happy with the restitution made then the law shouldn't have any more to do with it.

IMO the basis of laws should be to maintain balance and harmony. To prevent or punish the actions of individuals or groups from affecting others against their wishes. If you wrong me, and I cannot gain justice from you myself, then the law and those who uphold it are there to back me up and make things right.
That IMO was the essence of original laws, it all went pear shaped IMO because the written definitions of the laws created to uphold those principles were up able to be mis-interpretation and for purely selfish reasons people have found ways to get away without accepting their responsibilities. Thereby setting precedence that has then on warped the principles the original law was created to protect.
That and pedandic bull bleep beaurocracy.

/dismount soapbox

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FollowupID: 404266

Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:31

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:31
guys , after a bloody long drive, and already a long way from the cafe, and aware that police officers in country towns often drive to each others towns ,i tried to hand him the money so he could give it to her along with a genuine apology.. all he could say was , just because you pay, doesnt change the fact that you may be charged. he would not accept my $23 and asked me to go back to the station. so i did try to rectify
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FollowupID: 404272

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 10:21

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 10:21
$23 for bacon and eggs?

The shop should be gettin ripped thru court for robbery.. not u.
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FollowupID: 404850

Reply By: Road Runner - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:31

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:31
Don’t knock the cop … he is not a law-court, just an intermediary between the complainant and the defendant. If he chooses to pull Russ up on the side of the road and then let him off the hook because he thinks he is innocent, he is leaving himself open to a charge of misconduct or worse still, professional corruption. His boss would want to know why the court was not left to decide the issue, after all the cop now has an interest in the case and his own evidence is up for scrutiny! Consider how it would look for him on evidence from a passer-by… stopped a suspect who answered the description, let him go, why? Bribery would be the conclusion.

Russ

From the legal point of view you are innocent until proven otherwise … and the case must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. You may find that under examination the complainant may admit to the possibility of your innocence based on your behavior and the case will fail.

Seek legal advice and put up an honest defence. Even if you pleaded guilty and stated the facts as you described an ethical magistrate would be obliged to reject your plea until you sought legal advice.

By the way I’m not a lawyer.
AnswerID: 150706

Follow Up By: Road Runner - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:53

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:53
Russ,

Just a thought, it is customary for most cafes and truck stops to take your order and request payment with, or prior to delivery.

In contrast the more up-market outlets will take your order at the table and deliver your account usually with your coffee. You review your account and leave your payment on the table.

These practises allow for payment to be made prior to leaving the facility in eithercase.

If the system falls down then it could be argued that the proprietor didn't jog your memory either. The onus of course still rests with you to pay the bill but think carefully about the process as their could be mitigating circumstances.
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FollowupID: 404260

Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:36

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:36
roadrunner you are right,. i wish at the time of ordering she had told we what the bill was so i could have payed for it then and there, instead of sitting down and enjoying a nice breakfast and coffee, and then totally forgetting that i hadnt been even billed for it....she was expecting me to remember that i hadnt paid and would fix it up.
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FollowupID: 404274

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:48

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:48
russ36, I don't think anybody here has any doubt as to your sincerity, but it would be very unwise to try to shift the blame to the waitress in court.
I would say that in 95% of restaurants & cafes in Oz you pay after the meal, paying first is Maccas style.
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FollowupID: 404294

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:34

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:34
Russ, I'll take it on face value that you are an honest guy and this was a genuine mistake. If you think about it, you should be able to come up with some referees who can 'swear' to your honesty. An example; wife and I recently bought 2 u beaut camp chairs from a local camping store. When we got hoem with the 2 boxes, we found that one of the boxes had 2 chairs in it, so we had three, rather than the two we paid for. We returned the extra chair. Surprised the hell out of the store owner!

This type of thing happens a fair bit. If you can think of anything like that over the past couple of years, it is a tangible display of honesty, rather than a simple claim of honesty (which unfortunately everyone makes, regardless of the truth).

Anyway, if you are and honest guy, I hope you get off with something like paying the bill and a similar amount to charity. Although I don't think I've made this mistake, I've made plenty of others. If you are not an honest guy, well.............
AnswerID: 150707

Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:23

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 06:23
im in the process of attaining refs of situations proving honesty and one in particular wher i forgot to pay for fuel on the same trip in a nearby town. 5-6 m from the door after placing an order for food i walked back in and reminded the attendant that i had forgotten to pay her for the petrol, that should help some
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FollowupID: 404271

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:00

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:00
russ36

You are admitting to have forgotten to pay for your puchases on another occasion? Even if it was for a brief moment?

You need to concentrate, mate.

(Disclaimer: This is not advice...just a general forum comment)
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FollowupID: 404287

Reply By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 00:00
Can't help with the problem Russ. My missus is a chef though and if you're ever down this way, feel free to drop in and pinch some breaky...
AnswerID: 150712

Follow Up By: Joombi - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:33

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:33
LMFAO, thats some funny sh*t
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FollowupID: 404452

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 02:29

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 02:29
I did a drive off from a servo once. i got home and started sorting my payout (had just been paid) and realized I hadnt paid for the fuel. I tried ringing them but apparantly they were on the phone to the Coppers. I drove back to the servo (a fair way) explained and paid. They seemed happy enough it was just a mistake and i never heard from the cops
AnswerID: 150725

Reply By: Harrry - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 04:19

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 04:19
Get legal advice but did a similar this in Vic but dont plead guilty ( unless you are ) just get stat decks and caractor references and employ a solicitor to appear on your behalf as to be guilty you must fist knowingly committed a criminal offence and forgetting to is an excuss in this case and you should get let off with no conviction as i did but it did cost $380.
Good luck.
AnswerID: 150728

Reply By: HJ60-2H - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:14

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:14
At least post them a cheque for the money. That way you have actually paid.
AnswerID: 150729

Reply By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:33

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:33
"Do the crime, do the time". Sounds like a parrot with a limited vocabulary.
Complex situations reduced to a single phrase so that even morons can understand it - the phrase must have originated in the USA.

In Victoria, I believe?, this would be an indictable crime and, if found guilty, would make you a Prohibited Person under the firearms act (which you may, or may not, care about) it would also be on your record for the rest of your life. So in five years a police check will return "Convicted of theft in 2006" - it won't say "forget to pay for his brekkie" so for all anyone knows you robbed an old lady of her pension, it just says you're a thief.

My advice is to get a barrister to defend you (one who lives near the town of your trial and you’ll have to go up to see him beforehand) - overall that will probably cost you around $2000 (expensive brekkie!). Make it _very_ clear to the barrister that if found guilty you will be appealing the decision – the reason will become clear below.

If you choose to defend yourself then, as others have said, get _every_ reference possible of your good character - the more the better, doctors, priests, lawyers etc are good if possible. Make it clear to the magistrate when you give evidence that you have no previous convictions for anything and have never been in trouble with the police, unless you have - in which case keep quiet about it :) (he won't know anything about your criminal, or lack of, history at that stage and the police are not going to tell him you have a clean slate - so ensure you do).

When you initially attend court on the day you should see the Clerk of the Court (you'll probably need to report your presence to him anyway) and ask him what the procedure is (in the very unlikely event you're found guilty :) for you to lodge an appeal to a higher court. Make it _very_ clear that you will be appealing if necessary. They probably don't get too many appeals coming out of country Qld for minor offences. That info. will, most likely, find it's way back to the magistrate before your hearing. That knowledge may help him to "concentrate" on your case. Magistrates don't like being appealed - it calls their supposed omnipotence into question and puts their judgment on trial. And, of course, in the event of an acquittal there won't be an appeal.

Remember: we don't have a justice system - we have a legal system and largely, in this country, you get the justice you can afford.

Good luck.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 150736

Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:26

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:26
"so that even morons can understand it - the phrase must have originated in the USA"

You just keep coming up with the goods, don't you Mike. My US-born wife will no doubt stumble across this little gem this evening while reading Exploroz. Thanks for making her feel so welcome in this country.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:52

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:52
You don't feel you're being just a tiny little touch over sensitive here do you...?

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: japmel - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:19

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:19
Mike Harding,

Mate can you tell me who that first comment was aimed at,
Because it looks like it was aimed directly at me, and if you go back and read what I said you will find you have miss quoted me.

Regards
japmel
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:51

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:51
It was aimed at anyone who uses one-line slogans in an attempt to reduce complex issues to an overly simplistic concept and, having done so, falsely claims intellectual or moral superiority by the force of rational argument.

eg. A 14 year old boy who's alcoholic father has beaten him up every day for the past 10 years grabs a kitchen knife and sticks it in his father during yet another beating - can we reduce that to "Do the crime, do the time"? One could give thousands more examples of more or less serious issues. Simple slogans are used by politicians to stir up the masses - we should reject them.

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 404319

Follow Up By: warthog - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:15

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:15
"Remember: we don't have a justice system- we have a legal system and largely, in this country, you get the justice you can afford." Well said.
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FollowupID: 404328

Follow Up By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:21

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:21
Yo Mike,

Oh! I can't resist - Well you understood it Mike didn't you. :)))

LOLOLOLOLOLOLO!!!
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FollowupID: 404381

Reply By: Robert - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:37

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:37
You would think a copper would have the experience to tell whether a person was lying or not. And if the person appeared genuine, then apply some common sense; such as asking the person to return to the place, pay the cost of the meal and apologise. However having seen what some police can be like, if they have it in for you then your in trouble.

Too late now, but after the copper pulled you up, I would have immediately returned to the place, paid the bill and apologised.

Seek legal advice.
AnswerID: 150739

Reply By: Member - Reiner G (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:51

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:51
guys , after a bloody long drive, and already a long way from the cafe, and aware that police officers in country towns often drive to each others towns ,i tried to hand him the money

I hope you don't tell the judge that one........ and $23 for bacon and eggs?
maybe there was a bit more than just your breakfast.......hmmmm

Doesn't look good mate

Reiner
AnswerID: 150757

Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 20:20

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 20:20
bacon and eggs and coffee for two people costs $ 23, or in my case maybe 10 times that, ha ha
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FollowupID: 404404

Reply By: Member - big bo (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:57

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:57
I guess you didn't forget that you had a full belly of beautiful bacon and eggs - really tell another yarn mate!.
AnswerID: 150761

Reply By: Austravel - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 11:12

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 11:12
Russ,

Can imagine how your feeling and note your not howling down the owner or the police, shows maturity and remorse.

Though with family and many friends in business I can tell you it's a daily occurance- I forgot to pay, didn't remember I put that in my pocket/bag, it just fell off the shelf, etc, etc, etc. I guess they are just sick of it like anyone would be. I gather from one of your responces that you've been in the same boat with not being paid for a job. It can be damn hard to pick a simple mistake from an experienced street wise theif and I'm not saying your the latter. Just saying I can understand were the owner and cop is coming from.

Hope it pans out well for you and all involved. No doubt it will leave a bad taste in your mouth for some time to come but remember it will also for the shop keeper. Unless you have already done so I'd be writting a long appology and include a cheque for the meal. Most people are fair and having the shop keeper on your side as well or at least understanding the situation maybe very important.

Good luck.
AnswerID: 150771

Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:41

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:41
thanks,austravel
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Reply By: Member - t0me (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:04

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:04
Mate, why don't you work out the address of the place, write them a letter, include a cheque (so you know they got it and cashed it) with the amount you owe and a nice apology.

If it goes to court the person you wronged is going to be inconvenienced again, maybe they would even drop the charges? I don't know how it works here, if the person against whom the crime is committed doesn't wish to press charges, do the police generally continue the procedings?

Regardless, it would go a long way to making up for the mistake.
Might even have a good bearing on the outcome if it does go to court.

If you do end up in court, it reackon it would be good if you did mention that you attempted on multiple occasions to make reparations.

That they waste the courts time with such petty matters instead of dealing with it with a bit of intelligence at the roadside is bit pathetic IMO.
AnswerID: 150777

Follow Up By: russ36 - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 05:44

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 05:44
some good valid points
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FollowupID: 404544

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 11:14

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 11:14
Just exactyly what I was thinking, have you contacted the owner of the place and spoken to them, in person would be better, but even on the phone. Maybe its too late for htis.
.
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.

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FollowupID: 404594

Reply By: Patrol22 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:49

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:49
Russ - the bottom line here is that you will be out of pocket whatever way you go. Don't get the law and your moral indignation confused...the fact as I see it from your initial post is that you didn't pay....that you forgot in the eyes of the law is immaterial. A lawyer will cost you about $1500 for a day in court and while I haven't seen the statement of facts I would suggest that he/she will advise a guilty plea and then plead mitigation. If you have no priors you will almost certainly cop a section 10 ...no conviction recorded, pay for the meal and $50 (approx) court costs. On the other had you seem farily articulate so why not go to court and argue your own case. Country magistrates are usually fairly genuine people and are always willing to give a punter a fair go.
AnswerID: 150784

Reply By: ev700 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:44

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:44
I know nothing about the law and do not wish to speculate on the rights or wrongs of any of it.

However it strikes me that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from sending a brief letter of genuine apology (no elaboration, justification or pleading) together with $ to cover the bill.

I would send a $50 money order "to cover the account and any extras occasioned by my forgetfulness."

I would write it on a card rather than on note paper.

If the owner goes ahead anyhow I would be represented in Court and I would be likely to appeal.

I believe that the odds are against anyone who is not represented. Get a written quote from your proposed legal rep before you commit to him/her and ask also about further steps if required.
AnswerID: 150797

Reply By: Rod W - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:47

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:47
Wonder if ya get bacon and eggs in jail?
AnswerID: 150799

Reply By: MikeyS - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 14:08

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 14:08
Russ. I hate to tack my comments onto the bottom of such an exhaustive and exhausting thread, and in such a public forum, but I am a lawyer. I'm prepared to spend my lunchtime giving you some free advice- worth exactly what you will have paid for it.
First, you'll know I'm a lawyer because I'm about to put in a whole swag of disclaimers.
I don't practice in criminal law, so I'm not an expert in the field. Second, when I studied crim. it was in Victoria, so I only learnt about offences under the Victorian Crimes Act, not any Queensland legislation that may be relevant to your issue. Plus this was over 20 years ago. Things change. Third, you have not given enough specifics of what you have been charged with- is it theft, obtaining property by deception, something else? so even if I was qualified in the right area of practice, you haven't given enough info to give a proper opinion. However, I have been involved in a few matters over the years, generally when friend's brothers do something stupid late at night. Not that I handle the matters, but I have referred them on to the right person.
My advice is that unless you are prepared to wear a conviction, you should as you have said get advice from one of my blood sucking colleagues. (Funny how people are less scathing about us lawyers when they are actually in trouble and need help). To save cost, you might want to talk to someone based close to where the court is, (a local lawyer) even though that's less convenient for you. A lawyer would charge for travel time and expenses, plus there might be an advantage in engaging someone who might be known to the magistrate. The magistrate might be more sympathetic if he or she sees that you are taking the matter seriously and have a home-town boy on your side. Sometimes they are not impressed by hot-shots from the big smoke telling them the law.
It's going to be an expensive breakfast, but I would think it might cost more than a few hundreds of dollars for representation, but you should be able to get a rough idea from a lawyer before you engage him or her. Also another advantage of using a local awyer is that rural lawyers tend to charge less, as they have less overheads and are less greedy than us city dwellers. They have a good lifestyle and breathe clean air, so they are less compelled to need to charge big bucks. Bearing in mind the cost issue though, having a conviction for an offence involving dishonesty can affect your future much worse than other types of offences. Future employers, for example, might not be too worried about speeding fines, but a conviction of theft, or some similar dishonest offence can stuff you up. There is significant peril in representing yourself. With respect, I am a lawyer and wouldn't represent myself in such a matter, for the reasons outlined in my disclaimers. I'M NO EXPERT, but that's what in my opinion you need.
You can consult the Qld Law Society for a referral if you like. You shouldn't need to brief a barrister- a solicitor should handle these types of cases.
A local lawyer may be able to negotiate better with the prosecuting policeman. In my limited experience of criminal matters I've seen charged dropped after such discussions. I don't think you would be able to conduct such a negotiation though! Do it through a lawyer. The policeman won't want to know you.
As to the offence itself, generally, and I mean generally, the prosecution must prove that there was an intention not to pay when the property passed to you. Without the mental element (the mens rea as criminal lawyers refer to it) the offence is not proven, even though the physical element (the obtaining of the breakfast) clearly was present. I would be very surprised if there was a theft related offence in Queensland where the offence is proven without the necessary mental element, unlike speeding, where it doesn't matter what you are thinking, if you are driving over the limit, the offence is committed. Then again, stranger things happen in Queensland. So in my uninformed opinion, from what you have said, you should probably be OK, but only if you take the appropriate steps to defend yourself. Much of that comes down to your credibility as a witness. Again, getting proper representation, you will be advised on what character references, whether you need to give evidence, etc.

One other thing, act quickly. Despite all the delays in the legal system, delays by the accused are never looked upon favourably. Plus I expect you'll want to get this matter concluded swiftly so you can sleep better at night.

There, for what it's worth, is my advice. As I said, worth exactly what you've paid for it. Good luck.
MikeyS
AnswerID: 150807

Follow Up By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:38

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:38
mikeys, thanks for your time, and your sensible constructive advice,hope i can offer you some carpentry related advice one day should you ever need some....lets all try to do our best in all posts and topics to be constructive and helpfull, surely the most importantant reason we are here.
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FollowupID: 404356

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 20:52

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 20:52
Good effort Mikey, to take time out of your busy day, that you could have otherwise charged out at your chosen hourly rate.

I like the way you are able to put forward sensible advice whilst admitting you are no expert, despite being legally trained. You're about a hundred miles ahead of the rest of us.

It puts some of the "Redneck" comments here into perspective.

My old man was a lawyer and actually got pleasure from helping people. He, like you, was not just after the dollar.

Cheers Mate, you're a decent chap,

Jim.
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FollowupID: 404409

Follow Up By: ev700 - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 20:54

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 20:54
MikeyS
It is very decent of you to come forward.
It certainly is worth avoiding a conviction and it is worth the fee.
I wouldn't worry about the lawyer jokes - with the fees they charge, plumbers are attracting more ribbing these days.
EV700
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FollowupID: 404744

Reply By: rolande- Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 14:25

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 14:25
Russ36,

You could always tell us who the cafe was and where they were. I'm sure someone will drop in and say, "are you the ones that had a guy arrested for forgetting to pay $23 for a meal?"

The notoriety may influence them.

On the other hand, the police require confirmation that the cafe owner wanted you to be charged before they go ahead with it. They had time to get your number plate, surely they noticed before this that you were leaving and made no attempt to question you. May help,

SWMBO drove off without paying for petrol from a small country town several years ago, went to toilet and completely forgot to pay. She had a phone call the next day with the offer to make restitution - which of course she did very appologetically. Owner of petrol station and SWMBO had a laugh about it.

Surely the payment for the meal will be worth more to the owner than having to spend a day in court

Regards

Rolande
AnswerID: 150811

Reply By: russ36 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:32

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:32
i'm not about to try to make any trouble for her, and will never name her here, she deserves a fair go in court just as i do. its just so wrong to be inconvenienced to this level, and with the expensive possibilities... i have already sent her character refs , and tried to offer her the 23 dollars
AnswerID: 150831

Reply By: Sir Diamond - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:08

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:08
i think that sux russ but you will have to see what the judge things.
hopefully hes in a good mood after a good feed of bacon and eggs for brekky
and lets hope next time we read from you your name hasnt changed from russ36
to russ prison number 36.
AnswerID: 150852

Reply By: 100 Series - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:42

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:42
Lets look at the offence that has been committed. It is found under the Regulatory offences Act 1985, section 6(1)(a).

While it may have been an honest mistake all the prosecution has to prove the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.

And if all the elements to the offence can be proven, you will be found guilty, legal representation or not.

I have cut and pasted to offence from the Act for you. Or you can find it at, www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/R/RegulatOffA85.pdf

Section 6 Leaving hotel etc. without payment

(1) Any person who, with respect to food, drink, accommodation,
or like goods and services, of the value of $150 or less
obtained from any restaurant or hotel, motel, boarding house
or like premises—

(a) leaves such premises without discharging, or attempting
honestly, or making proper arrangements, to discharge,
his or her lawful indebtedness therefor

is guilty of a regulatory offence and, subject to section 9, is
liable to a fine of $300.

Lets break it down into elements that the prosecution will be required to prove.

1. Any person who:

russ36

2. with respect to food, drink, accommodation, or like goods and services:

bacon and egg breakfast

3. of the value of $150 or less:

$23

4. obtained from any restaurant or hotel, motel, boarding house
or like premises.

Shop where brekky was obtained

5. leaves such premises without discharging, or attempting honestly, or making proper arrangements, to discharge, his or her lawful indebtedness therefor

you left the premisis without paying your debt, You left the premisis without attempting to honestly pay your debt (e.g credit card declined etc), You did not make arrangements to pay your debt.

Mate you can try your luck in court and have to pay a lawyer, have to travel back to court, loss a couple of days work to go to court and then risk the chance that you will be found guilty. You will then have to pay court costs, a fine and pay restitution.

Its up to you, but unless you require a clean criminal record (I'm guessing that you would not get a conviction recorded anyway) for work purposes etc I would be picking the cheaper option and cop it on the chin and learn from the mistake.
AnswerID: 150858

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 20:56

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 20:56
Read the above response from Mikey.
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FollowupID: 404411

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 21:08

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 21:08
As Mikey says; he isn't familiar with Qld law. If the above is correct then the issue Russ faces is a specific offence in Qld not simply a general one of theft. I imagine it will make his situation more difficult (if he has been charged under that act) and even more reason why he should consult a, what was Mikey's term... "blood sucking leech"? :)

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 404414

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:23

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:23
Hope Qld law policing has changed from the Joh days then too guys.....
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:31

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:31
Brilliant John.

Ah, the days of "Sergio (Sir Joh) be often peed upon" and that wicked sod Terry Lewis. QLD had the best Police Force that MONEY could buy.

Of course they also had that fine upstanding bastion of civil service, Russ Hinze.

I could go on forever.

What a foul dictatorshipo that was.
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FollowupID: 404450

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:56

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:56
The thing that AMAZES me is that being after working in the security industry for a number of year (specializing in digital video surveillance) I have seen many, many many crimes take place. I have seen people KNOWN to the police get away over and over and over again with THOUSANDS of dollars of goods and wilful damage and they don't seem to give a rats ass because they are too busy holding speed guns on the side of the road, and then for you to be fingerprinted, charged and treated like a ciminal for somthing as stupid as this is beyond my comprehension. And I don't care what all the doo gooders will say about it being a crime and what about the poor business owner and yarda yarda yarda, it's a drop in the ocean when you look at reality and some of the REAL crimes that are happening every minute of the day. Hell my best mates car got totally written off while it was parked out the front of our house one saturday night by what we can only assume was a stolen car while we were all asleep and the cops diddn't even want to know about it, in fact they wouldn't even come out to look at it, they said to call your insurance company and come to the police station at make a traffice accident report. The ironic thing was how were we supposed to come to the police station, there was a mangled car and bit's of it spewed all over the yard and up and down the street blocking us from getting any other vehicles out!!
AnswerID: 150860

Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 19:22

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 19:22
spot on Jeff. It's bloody stupid and more worrying, seems a bit too selective for my liking. I've had experience of some idiot being let off because he had "connections".
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FollowupID: 404396

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 21:10

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 21:10
Well said Jeff.

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 404415

Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:59

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 18:59
Russ - Youv'e had your Bacon and Eggs so how about a bit of HUMBLE PIE now Eh!

LOLOLOL :))))
AnswerID: 150861

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 11:26

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 11:26
hahah thought you werent going to waste more of your time hahaha, worse than me hehee
.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 19:39

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 19:39
When you get into court plead Alzihmers [oops forgotten how to spell] and blame it on that the bacon/eggs were cooked on alloy /alumininum that is proven to be the no 2 cause of forgetting ,,no 1 is ,forgot ,,umm think its beer. lol.
AnswerID: 150865

Reply By: Sir Diamond - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 20:31

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 20:31
$23 for bacon and eggs.
what did you get a pig and a chicken?
AnswerID: 150875

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:34

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:34
Apparently a Pig was involved LOL.
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FollowupID: 404454

Reply By: Eddy - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 23:09

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 23:09
It is my solemn duty to inform you to ignore all the previous advice given to you on this forum.

This what you must do:

Tell the Magistrate you come from a broken home.
Tell the Magistrate you have a drug problem
Tell the Magistrate you never intended to pay for the meal as you'd spent all your stolen cash on spray paint for graffiti.
Tell the Magistrate the car you were driving was nicked from an aged pensioner.
Tell the Magistrate you were picked on at school by other students and all the teachers.
Tell the Magistrate your step Father was mean to you.
This has worked for many other people in the Queensland justice system.
Whatever happens :
DON"T tell him you have a clean record, a job, a family, pay tax, can write, read and know the difference between right and wrong.
If you do your in deep, deep deep trouble.

Only kidding!

You will be right.

AnswerID: 150937

Reply By: Sam from Weipa Auto Electrics - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 10:18

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 10:18
I'm sick of the police they can pull there finger out to pick up a guy for not paying for his meal but my 8000 dollar motorbike gets stolen and it takes them 2 days to come and talk to me I'm over the police normal story though its a few bad cops I'm sure that ruin it for all of us grrrr sorry guys had to vent that
AnswerID: 151029

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 10:56

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 10:56
Good Luck Russ
AnswerID: 151034

Reply By: sepp5762 - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 23:37

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 23:37
I have just read PostID: 30118 regarding us "newbies" apparently wasting you more experienced site users time, by asking repeat questions.......and yet here you are 43 replies later still discussing if some one who leaves premises with out paying their bill........... is guilty or not.
AnswerID: 151214

Follow Up By: Member - Ed. C.- Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 23:47

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 23:47
Yeah, ya get that!! ;-))))
Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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FollowupID: 404803

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 00:17

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 00:17
just a bump on this abck to the top with the Wont Pay For Fuel thread
AnswerID: 152202

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 00:21

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 00:21
Thanks Bruce, Just a perfect fit to the topic at hand. :))
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Reply By: Goughy - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 16:44

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 16:44
Russ, how did you go, have you been to court yet???
if not, good luck, I would like a dollar for everytime I have left somewhere & not paid only to realise a few K's later (once 120) turned around went back & paid, I was just lucky I remembered before the cops nabbed me....
AnswerID: 154927

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 18:16

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 at 18:16
I once walked out of a shop in Saudi Arabia with an item I had (quite genuinely) forgotten to pay for - I realised about 100m down the road, I kept on walking and at a slightly faster pace :)

Mike Harding
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