Despite getting caught at Splendour in the Grass 2018 with drugs, most individuals have escaped Byron Bay court without a conviction.
Despite getting caught at Splendour in the Grass 2018 with drugs, most individuals have escaped Byron Bay court without a conviction. Patrick Gorbunovs

Splendour drug-takers avoid criminal records

THE vast majority of the more than 100 people charged with drug possession at Splendour in the Grass are breathing a sigh of relief after escaping court without a conviction.

The Byron Bay Local Court scheduled an extra sitting day yesterday to hear police matters arising from Splendour in the Grass, involving mostly young people, with festival-goers invariably issued a section-10 sentence.

The section-10 ruling stipulates no conviction, with a six-month good behaviour bond.

 

Police at Splendour in the Grass 2018.
Police at Splendour in the Grass 2018. Marc Stapelberg

Lawyer Sally McPherson, who had several clients appearing at the court, told ABC North Coast that Magistrate Jeff Linden, who presided over the day, "is a particularly intelligent, reasonable magistrate".

"A Section-10 is what everybody is hoping for, particularly these young people who have got no criminal history," Ms McPherson told the ABC.

"If you came there with no priors, were cooperative with police, made full admissions, admitted guilt at the first opportunity, Magistrate Linden did tend to convict under section 10 with a good behaviour bond."

Meanwhile, the Greens have continued calls for the de-escalation of sniffer dog presence at festivals such as Splendour in the Grass, labelling them a waste of resources that ultimately have no impact on drug supply.


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