Charges of violating a Public Health direction have been withdrawn after single mum Anna Stancombe was pulled over on a Queensland highway with her 7-year-old in 2020.
The officer’s bodycam footage revealed him bragging about handing out Covid-related fines, saying that he gave Ms Anna Stancombe a ‘silver medal’.
“Did she eventually answer your questions?” asked the police radio.
“No, she got a silver medal which is what six hundred and forty-four dollars and a Covid-19 ticket thirteen thirty-three, so just under two grands’ worth of tickets for her efforts,” said Senior Constable Allan Ward.
“Nice work. Thanks mate…”
Stancombe has been fighting the fine in the Queensland Magistrates Court since 2020 after she was pulled over for allegedly speeding in Brisbane on April 26, 2020. Police asked Stancombe a number of personal questions related to her whereabouts that day, including her intended destination and purpose for travelling.
She refused to answer, at which point the officer insisted that he could direct her to answer under the ‘Emergency Powers’ of the Public Health Act 2005 (QLD) and then immediately jumped to the threat of arrest.
Stancombe became very distressed as the officer’s behaviour escalated to what she perceived to be threatening and expressed that her 7-year-old son was very scared. When Stancombe further queried the officer’s right to ask her personal questions and attempted to look up the piece of legislation to confirm that Senior Constable Ward's directions were accurate, he placed her under arrest and walked away.
When the officer returned, he discontinued the arrest and issued Stancombe with an infringement notice before declining to give her his badge number when asked.
She was charged with an offence under the Public Health Act and received a fine of nearly $1,400.
The defence for Stancombe made legal representations to the QLD Police in the matter, seeking that the alleged Public Health Offence be withdrawn entirely without the need for a defended hearing.
After extensive representation and discussions, 'Fight The Fines' lawyer, Mr Mani Shishineh, successfully convinced Police to withdraw the charge.
“The case serves as another example, that while defended hearings can often be necessary in resolving COVID related charges, it is possible to have the matters successfully concluded without the need for a litigation,” said Mr Cameron Shamsabad, Associate Solicitor.
“This is an excellent outcome for Ms Stancombe and the community, and it would not have been possible without the overwhelming public support for Rebel's 'Fight the Fines' campaign.”