Former Warwick cop challenges Twitter menace charge
A FORMER Warwick police officer charged with sharing menacing posts on Twitter has challenged the fairness of his trial.
Ben Alexander Ephraim Dyball fronted the Warwick District Court today to make a permanent stay application to stop the case.
He cited bias, breaches of disclosure and assertive shortcomings as grounds for his application.
Dyball, 52, is charged with one count of using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, with the alleged offence dating back to April 2016.
The charge refers to a number of Twitter posts allegedly made in relation to Queensland weapons licensing officer Andrew Smith.
Dyball, representing himself, said the prosecuting officers sought to use material from a separate QCAT hearing against him.
“This matter proceeded from improper purposes and has no reasonable prospect of success,” he said.
“I say the judge can do nothing in the conduct of this trial to relieve against the unfairness of the process, that the continuation of the proceeding involves unacceptable risk of injustice.”
Crown prosecutor Sarah Harburg said their case would only refer to the QCAT hearing as having had occurred.
Claims witnesses and police officers Andrew Smith and Ryan Harmer were biased were also discarded by Ms Harburg.
“Ultimately, any assertive bias and whether they impact on the reliability or credibility of those witnesses in my submission, that’s a matter for trial and there’s no evidence of actual bias,” she said.
When Ms Harburg’s stated that all Crown submissions had been disclosed to Dyball, the 52-year-old objected saying an email mentioned in one witnesses’ testimony had not passed to him.
“That email has not been disclosed to me,” he said.
Judge Moyinhan questioned why the Crown had not forwarded the material.
“If it exists and seems to be relevant in some way to the defence case, that should be disclosed, should it not?” he said.
“I’m not making any determination about the matter but it looks connected, and it seems to be in possession of the prosecution, so it should be disclosed.”
Ms Harburg said she would inquire as to why that had not happened.
The case was adjourned for a later date, with Dyball likely to appear in Brisbane via videolink.