This is a letter Jimbo sent off yesterday to The Commander of The Rocks Police Station re our upcoming court case.
Dear Police Commander of the Rocks,
I am writing to you about an infringement notice I got issued from an incident that happened at Circular Quay at about 10am on 22/08/12.
It was issued by a constable whose first name is Shane. I’m not sure of his surname.
The issue related to my goat which was eating grass at the park outside the MCA.
On the day that Shane found me, the first thing he told me was that I’d broken a whole lot of laws.
I asked him to name one and from there the incident has escalated into what I feel is a complete waste of our court systems time and I ask you to consider dropping the matter before it becomes a complete tabloid farce.
Here is a brief summary of the situation from my angle.
I’m a comedian who travels around the country with my goat Gary. He’s incredibly tame, follows me everywhere and people love him.
On this particular day I was walking him down George St and was
immediately followed by a Daily Telegraph photographer who
thought it worth taking some snaps of.
He followed me all the way down to Circular Quay where I was surrounded by Shane and about four other police officers.
Like I said before, Shane immediately started telling me that I’d broken a whole lot of laws.
I then asked,’ well can you name one?'
And from there on in, Shane didn’t like me very much.
He then spent over an hour detaining me while he tried to tell me what law I’d broken, while a crowd slowly built up around us.
He couldn’t get me for an out of control animal because my goat wasn’t out of control. He couldn’t get me for not having it on a leash because it wasn’t a dog. This continued on to most people’s amusement except Shane’s.
In the end he let me go saying he was going to continue to find a law that I had broken and send the fine in the mail to me.
In the meantime the Daily Telegraph sent in photos which made a colour spread on Page three the next day.
The link to the story (with Shane’s photo in it) is here:
The reporter made a point of asking the police what happened and they said (as reported in the newspaper) that there was no fine issued.
Shane obviously couldn’t let it go though because he sent me a fine for $440 for ‘damaging vegetation without authority’ about two month later.
The penalty notice is 4912388800
I obviously didn’t want to pay this because a) it wasn’t me, it was my goat b) My goat wasn’t damaging vegetation. He was simply taking the top off some grass plust some leaves off some bushes (next to some council workers with a lawnmower and clippers who were doing the same thing.)
So I applied for my fine to be contested in court assuming Shane wouldn’t be silly enough for this to be taken to court given that my key witness was a Daily Telegraph photographer who had been with me the whole time while taking photos of every move my goat did.
Anway, it now looks like we’re all going to court over this on 23/1/12.
My case number is 2012/00336061.
It’s listed as a crime under, ‘Damage, destroy, remove a tree, plant, other vegetation’.
I.e Shane wants me at 42 years of age to have my first criminal record because he found my goat eating grass in public!
To make things more farcical, it’s recently being pointed out to me that the Harbour Bridge and George Street is still classified as a stock route.
I’ve told all this information to several lawyers and they’ve all told me the case is going to be thrown out of court immediately, so I shouldn’t be worried about it.
My key witness, the photographer at The Daily Telegraph has also been told by his editor in chief that there is story potential in this again, especially as my goat will be outside the court (he goes everywhere with me) and for him to bring his camera when he is a witness in the case.
I don’t know what the story is going to be but I assume it will be about whether police are trying to catch criminals or create them? Or ‘The Nanny state gone too far’.
The last time we made page 3, maybe this time we’ll hit the front page if it’s a slow news day.
I don’t know.
What I do know though is that I want this letter on record to you, to show to the judge that despite this being fantastic publicity for my career as a comedian, I gave the police every chance I could to not let this case be a waste of time on the court system – which I believe it is.
Therefore could you please consider this matter and put some perspective on it (which Shane seems to be lacking) before it goes any further and waste’s so many people’s time.
At the end of Shane detaining me at Circular Quay I asked him quite honestly if he was always ‘the bad cop’.
I was genuinely interested given that there were three cops behind him not saying a word while this all happened.
Shane then said to me, ‘No I’m normally the good cop!’
This I found quite interesting because I’m always as a comedian trying to work out what’s behind every heckle.
And my comeback (which this letter is ultimately about) is that not even my goat can get through the amount of red tape it takes now to go on a walk in this country.
This fine is simply a ‘good cop’ trying to practice his ‘bad cop’ routine on a soft target. I.e a guy with a goat who has done nothing wrong - in a country which is putting up with it more and more.
If you as his Commander and boss can point this out to him while clearing this matter up so that the courts can deal with more serious issues, I’d greatly appreciate it.
And if you can’t I thank you in advance for helping me out with my career as comedian.
P.S - on the court notice I was issued with, it has been written
that my first name is ‘Shane’.
Maybe The Daily Telegraph headline will be ‘comedy of errors’?
The one I'm going to be personally pushing for though is, 'Shame, Shane, Shame!'