Have you ever heard of “aggravated littering?” In New South Wales, Australia the police justify their existence by charging residents with crimes like this.
In Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, a man was both fined on the spot and convicted of “aggravated littering,” for apparently pouring out his coffee. According to his side of the story, a friend in his vehicle poured out the rest of his coffee, and since somebody saw him he was fined $600 and ordered to pay $1500 more.
On the spot, he was fined $450 when staff of a certain place “noticed a greasy, sudsy discharge coming from a parked van.” The fact that police want to enforce this demonstrates how little crime is actually happening in the region, and rather than reveling in peace, the police are pressured to find people to rob.
Matthew Banks, the victim of highway robbery said that his friend had done nothing but tip coffee out on the ground, noting that the fine was “beyond a joke,” in a statement to the Northern Star. He explained that he felt the Shire’s rangers targeted him.
The legal counsel of Bryon Shire Council, Ralph James justified the excessive fine by claiming that it served as “vindication” for the effort put in by law enforcement to fine the man.
In other words, the cops didn’t like the guy talking back so they are claiming the police were “subjected to significant harassment” by the man.
So the police come up to this guy, the man got offended because he was about to receive an on the spot, $450 fine for nearly nothing, and in the logic of the police and this “legal counsel” the police were the ones receiving harassment.
“The defendant was very vocal to local and metropolitan media claiming that he had been fined for throwing coffee on the ground and was extremely critical of Council and our Enforcement staff,” the Bryon Shire legal counsel said.
The victim of a ridiculous fine was very vocal to the media for being fined after pouring out coffee? He would have been a docile victim to not do that. What do these authorities believe they are doing, training a dog?
“Our Enforcement team knows what coffee looks like, knows what coffee smells like and it was clearly not coffee that had been thrown onto the grass,” the authorities claimed.
“It was actually discharge coming from the van onto the roadside in such volume that it had the potential to pollute nearby Simpsons Creek.”
So they are claiming the substance wasn’t actually coffee, but it wasn’t identified and nobody has evidence to confirm that it wasn’t?
Commenters noted that the evidence to confirm either person’s story is lacking. Why wasn’t the substance tested if it wasn’t coffee?
In his defense, maybe the man should revisit the scene of the “crime” and show that no residual stain has been left on the ground. If it were coffee, it definitely wouldn’t still be on the ground. If it were something else, it might still residually be there.