Whitsunday woman tries to vary no-alcohol bail condition
A Whitsunday businesswoman and former council candidate who is facing multiple charges has attempted to change her bail to remove a no-alcohol condition.
Heidi Michelle Ward faced Proserpine Magistrates Court this week and applied to have a bail condition varied that says police can test her for alcohol in the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct and her result must be zero.
Ms Ward, 48, told the court she had contacted the Department of Public Prosecutions, who told her there was no such condition on her bail.
However, police prosecutor Chelsea Pearson clarified the condition was attached to Ms Ward's charges in the magistrates court, but not to a matter that had been committed to the district court.
Magistrate James Morton noted Ms Ward is facing multiple charges including public nuisance in a licensed premises - Airlie Beach Hotel, obstructing a police officer at Airlie Beach Hotel, assaulting police and wilful damage of police property.
Mr Morton noted the offences were alleged to have occurred while Ms Ward was intoxicated.
Ms Ward has previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Ms Ward told the court she wanted the condition changed as she claimed police had approached her home and contacted her after hours on Facebook.
As Ms Ward is working in hospitality consulting, she said the zero-alcohol condition had an impact.
"If they approach me while I am in a business training staff it is pretty embarrassing and humiliating," Ms Ward said.
"I am innocent until proven guilty, hence I have committed it to the district court so I can have a jury of 12.
"I am actually frightened of the police.
"If I was to be of bad behaviour by all means I totally agree with you.
"But to randomly just keep seeking me out, coming to my house, walking into my lounge room, asking for a random breath test, it has gotten to the point where it is a bit silly."
Ms Pearson told the court the prosecution opposed the change of bail as Ms Ward recently pleaded guilty to a breach of bail after she was found intoxicated in the Safe Night Precinct and refused to provide a breath sample.
Ms Ward said she had been advised by a lawyer she could appeal that sentence because there was confusion around her bail conditions and she had sought advice from police.
In delivering his decision, Mr Morton said bail conditions were not to be more onerous than necessary.
"Ms Ward says it is harassing on her and it is causing her life to be unstable," Mr Morton said.
Mr Morton also noted Ms Ward had recently pleaded guilty to breaching bail, which arose from her being intoxicated in the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct.
He said the conditions must have been put in place when there was a requirement that Ms Ward must not have alcohol in the precinct for her benefit, and there was nothing before the court to suggest it was an injustice.
Mr Morton decided the bail condition should not be varied and Ms Ward's outstanding charges remain adjourned until June 7.