OPINION: It's time for defendants to show respect
IF YOU want to be totally disgusted about the attitude of certain youth in any town take a few hours out of your Monday morning and go and sit at the back of your local Magistrates Court.
There you will see a procession of untidy, uncaring and bitter juveniles stand before the magistrate on all sorts of charges.
I must admit I haven't taken the time out to visit the Ipswich courtrooms so far, but I have walked into many others in recent years.
I was fortunate in Hervey Bay that I got to know the magistrate well and he took time out to chat with me about his concerns and gave me a heads up on growing problems.
It enabled the paper I was the editor of to target areas of concerns and to work with the police to let the community know.
An outbreak of youth gangs walking the streets late at night, break-ins to unlocked cars and sheds were just some of the problems we highlighted and in doing so hopefully helped the community take appropriate preventative action.
I would like to say that our front page story yesterday of 23 year-old Jai Eliott and his clown-like performance in court is something you won't see often in Ipswich. But according to every court reporter we have sent down to cover court it is far from the case. How anyone can disrespect the court by going along to face a charge wearing thongs, a singlet and shorts is beyond belief.
What it says to me is that it reflects exactly why they are in front of a magistrate.
If you can't respect yourself, what hope have you got in life?