THE heavy hand of justice was at work in Bathurst this week.
A grandmother was in tears after her grandson was gaoled and a mother with baby in arms was led from the Local Court to serve a gaol sentence.
Both the young man and woman have since appealed to the District Court over the severity of full-time custodial sentences.
However, the sentences imposed on the young man and woman were just a small taste of the severity of the justice meted out to offenders this week in the Local Court at Bathurst.
Offenders facing relieving magistrate Darryl Pearce over two days heard a number of times that protection of the community was a responsibility of the local court.
“When people's homes are broken into offenders should expect to go to gaol,” Mr Pearce said.
“There's not only the physical damage, but psychological damage after breaking and entering of homes.
“Home owners live in fear the offenders might return”.
Mr Pearce relieved recently appointed Bathurst Court circuit magistrate Elizabeth Corbett who was in another jurisdiction to complete part heard matters this week.
Mr Pearce sat at Bathurst Court House on Monday and Tuesday.
Aside from gaol sentences handed down, some of the surprises that Mr Pearce dealt to offenders and their solicitors was a revelation that first time drink-drivers attending the Traffic Offenders' Program would not have information dismissed.
Mr Pearce told people who appeared before him for causing malicious damage sentencing would be passed when they paid compensation.
The stiffest penalty Mr Pearce handed out was to a young woman who attended court with a baby in a stroller, who had obtained $1658.28 by deception after taking and using her mother's credit card.
“She's in a lot of trouble”, Mr Pearce told Aboriginal Legal Aid solicitor Rayna Pettet, who asked the magistrate to impose a Community Service Order or weekend periodic detention for the woman to tend her baby.
Mr Pearce said the woman had been gaoled for dishonesty in the past, she used the credit card to buy cigarettes and alcohol, a full term custodial sentence of 12 months with non parole of nine months was appropriate.
In the case of the 20-year-old man who could have had one of his charges sent to the District Court over breaking into a church, Mr Pearce imposed a nine month custodial sentence.
The young man had suffered the death of his mother when he got into trouble breaking into homes. He was receiving strong support from his grandmother who attended court every time he appeared.