Saturday, August 8, 2009

Keen law-enforcement in Queensland again: 10 years to match fingerprints

JUSTICE can be slow but even two of the legal world's veterans were today stunned when it was revealed police took 10 years to match fingerprints at a crime scene with those of the culprit. In the District Court in Brisbane, Richard Allan Crookall , 29, pleaded guilty to the burglary of a house on September 30, 1998.

Crookall broke into the house at Wavell Heights, in Brisbane's north, and stole jewellery, money, CDs and sunglasses. Forensics police found a fingerprint at the scene on October 1, 1998. However, the fingerprint was finally matched to Crookall on December 12, 2008.

His fingerprints had been in the"system" since 1997 when he appeared on drugs charges and Crookall was a regular visitor to the courts in the past decade . He was sentenced to 30 months jail in 2007 for burglary offences.

When told there had been a delay in processing the fingerprint, long serving Judge Keith Dodds replied: "That is an understatement. These charges should have been before the sentencing judge at least in 2007. What do you want me to do set him back to jail?" The court heard, however, Crookall had breached his parole and was now due for release on September 7.

Barrister Peter Nolan, for Crookall, said the delay was "inexcusable". "If ever there was a case of no further punishment this is it. This offence should ahve been dealt with years ago," Mr Nolan said.

Judge Dodds sentenced Crookall to a further 10 months jail term with parole on September 7.


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