A Queensland man said "mate" too often to a magistrate and found himself in jail for the colloquial language. But an Australian politician is outraged at the magistrate's decision.
Thomas John Collin twice addressed Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin as "mate'' at a hearing last week. Australia's Courier Mail reports that when Magistrate McLaughlin objected to Collins' language, he ordered him to address him as "sir or your honour'", but the defendant replied "OK mate'' and was sent for a stint in jail.
The Herald Sun reports Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully saying the incident followed another in Toowoomba, "where a magistrate hauled two tradesmen before the court for making too much noise, and threatened to charge them with contempt."
Tully goes on to say, "It is getting out of control, some of these magistrates see themselves as Lord of the Fiefdom."
It's probably time for magistrates to understand they have a wide variety of people before them and calling someone 'mate' is a term of endearment."
He also believes magistrates should take anger management classes. He added, "I say to every magistrate - 'Come on mate, get off your high horse and show some tolerance'."