Judge slams man who was too lazy to lodge appeal
A FORMER Koonorigan man's "tardiness" cost him the chance to appeal his conviction for possessing stolen goods and trespassing, a court has heard.
Andrew Geoffrey Stevenson, 36, had in December been convicted of two offences of having goods in custody suspected being stolen and one count of entering lands without lawful excuse.
The suspected stolen goods were a knife with someone else's name engraved and a radio believed to have belonged to Falls Festival organisers.
At the time, he had been released on bail for separate matters, on the condition he reside in Queensland and not return to New South Wales unless for court appointments.
Stevenson appeared in person in the Lismore District Court on Wednesday to appeal the conviction.
In NSW, anyone has the right of appeal within three months of conviction, and generally are expected to make their application within 28 days of the decision.
However, Stevenson's barrister, Peter O'Connor, told the court his client had lodged his appeal application in March, four days before the cut-off, because he believed he couldn't lodge the application without breaking his bail conditions.
When asked while giving evidence, Stevenson told the court he didn't realise he was expected to lodge the application within 28 days of conviction.
"My understanding was that if there was bona fide reason and a reason as such that made it difficult for me or an adverse situation for me to file, my understanding was that it was okay," Stevenson said.
"I didn't believe it was a justifiable reason to travel to NSW just for the purpose to drop a letter off.
"I spoke with Peter O'Connor and he strongly advised me to stay out of NSW unless I have a court appointment or I'm coming into court."
But Judge Jeffery McLennan said Stevenson did not take a "a proactive stance" in ensuring the relevant documentation was lodged, which could have occurred if he'd called the court to make an appointment or sought the assistance of a solicitor to lodge on his behalf.
Judge McLennan said from the evidence it looked like Stevenson should have "organised his affairs better" despite the potential expense of engaging a solicitor.
"(This is) someone who thought he could leave it to the last minute, because it was convenient," Judge McLennan said.
"People can organise their affairs from another state, people are talking to each other on zoom, and there's emails.
"(But Stevenson acted like) there was no rush, no urgency and could do it effectively when he could get around to it."
Judge McLennan refused the leave of appeal because the "fell short" satisfying the requirements for approval.