Jai Russell Eliott (right) has received public criticism after he attended Ipswich Magistrates Court dressed in thongs and a singlet. Photo Contributed
Jai Russell Eliott (right) has received public criticism after he attended Ipswich Magistrates Court dressed in thongs and a singlet. Photo Contributed

No sympathy for courtroom "grub"

SOMETIMES a magistrate's remark can be right on the money.

Such was the case when an Ipswich magistrate recently scolded a young offender for his poor choice of courtroom attire.

Jai Russell Eliott had arrived to court last week, wearing a Red Hot Chili Peppers singlet, shorts and thongs.

He faced charges of obstructing police and committing a public nuisance.

Before the 23-year-old was sentenced, magistrate Barry Cosgrove gave Eliott a dressing down for what he had worn to court.

Mr Cosgrove labelled Eliott a "grub" and said his choice of clothes showed disregard and disrespect for court proceedings.

It appears many other people in Ipswich agree.

After the story appeared in The Queensland Times, hundreds of readers weighed in on Facebook, with the majority in support of Mr Cosgrove's viewpoint.

Ipswich resident Bev Draper said people who wore singlets and thongs to court should not be allowed into the courtroom.

She added that Eliott should have been given a fine for his "disrespectful attire and made to go home and change into more appropriate clothes.

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Fiona Summers said people should dress for court like they would dress for a job interview.

"Seriously, if you turned up for a job interview dressed like you were going to the beach, you would not be getting the job," she wrote.

Tony Hook congratulated Mr Cosgrove and added that lack of respect for authority these days was a huge issue which needed to be addressed.

Solicitor Yassar Khan of Bosscher Lawyers Ipswich said he normally advised his clients to wear something "comfortable but respectful" for when they faced court.

"You don't need to go out and buy a suit or anything for your court appearance but I think you do need to wear something that shows you made an effort.

"You have to be mindful the judge will be passing judgment on you, so it's important you look like you are taking the matter seriously and show respect." 

COURTROOM DRESS TIPS

  • Ensure your outfit is well pressed and free of wrinkles and stains.
  • Your outfit must be something that you feel comfortable in - don't wear something that makes you feel like you're not yourself but keep it formal and smart.
  • Unless you wear something on your head for religious purposes, no hats or caps.
  • No dark glasses - like sunglasses - unless you have a medical reason to wear them.
  • For girls, make-up should be minimal, dresses and skirts should be about knee length and nothing low-cut in the front.
  • Consider covering tattoos and removing piercings before heading to court.
  • Bring a sweater or jacket since courtrooms can get chilly.

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