Test case for hated camera
By Alex Easton
THE fate of hundreds of appeals against the notorious St Helena speed camera now hang on a single man after Magistrate Jeff Linden declared he wanted a test case on the challenges.
More than 30 people appeared at Mullumbimby Local Court yesterday to challenge fines from the camera.
Most came without lawyers and some with Northern Star stories about the camera or the words of Ballina MP Don Page who has been helping about 500 people caught by the camera for their defence.
But that was not going to get anyone out of anything, Mr Linden said.
"Just because you have a newspaper article means nothing," Mr Linden said.
"They rely on this (newspaper) record; they rely on Don Page; they rely on emotion; but I have to deal with it in accordance with the law. I have to deal with it properly and discard all the emotive part until there's a finding one way or the other."
Mr Linden adjourned the challenges until November 22, along with that of Ballina man Glenn Massey, whose appeal will become the test-case, largely because he has hired a lawyer to fight $3000 worth of fines he built up over six weeks from late April this year.
Mr Massey also has help from another camera victim, Bryce Houston, who has helped lead the push to quash the fines.
Mr Houston agreed those fighting the fines had a tough job proving the camera was faulty especially after the RTA said it had tested the camera and found nothing wrong with it.
However, he said they were gathering experts to look at the camera and were going to the manufacturer as they gathered evidence.
Former Lismore resident Kirsty Hewitt is one of those whose own camera battle is tied to Mr Massey's.
Ms Hewitt said she knew the road and the camera well when she was clocked doing 75km/h past the 60km/h-zone camera in April.
Ms Hewitt, who now lives at Gatton, but returns to Lismore regularly to see her horses, said she was only doing 55km/h when she was booked. She now drives to Lismore via Murwillumbah and Kyogle to avoid the camera.