AN UNUSUAL religious court case where the accused took a conviction and fine over a good behaviour bond has been resolved at Armidale Local Court.
Jeremy Faiers, a 25-year-old Plymouth Brethren follower was convicted of low range drink-driving on Monday.
Defence solicitor Glen Ping Kee argued a good behaviour bond would conflict with his client’s communion obligations, and suggested Faiers could enter into a written agreement with the court.
“These matters are personal and very significant,” Mr Kee said.
It’s difficult because of the religious teachings from a very well respected organisation within the community, and also the obligations of the state.Magistrate Michael Holmes
“Although some might see this as an attempt to step away from the court, it’s because of my client’s beliefs that the directions of the court are taken in serious regard.”
A letter from one of the church’s elders, who cannot be named due to a non-publication order, asked Magistrate Michael Holmes to reconsider the severity of a bond in this case.
Read more stories:
“It’s difficult because of the religious teachings from a very well respected organisation within the community, and also the obligations of the state,” Mr Holmes said.
“The community would not expect allowances for people’s individual religious beliefs.
“The bond would have been offered as an opportunity.”
Faiers had gone to his parent’s house for lunch and was pulled over for a random breath test on February 18, the court heard, and blew 0.054.
Faiers has no previous criminal history, he was convicted, fined $500 and disqualified from driving for three months.
“Your circumstances are unusual and faith based, I can only commend you for your beliefs and the well-respected religious community that has a significant impact in this town,” Mr Holmes said.