News State SA News Magistrate ‘utterly destroyed’ by offences

Magistrate ‘utterly destroyed’ by offences

bob harrap court
Former SA magistrate Bob Harrap leaves court after Friday's hearing. Photo: AAP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

The reputation, character and career of a former Adelaide magistrate have been “utterly destroyed” after his guilty pleas to deception and conspiracy charges, a court has heard.

Bob Harrap came before the District Court on Friday for sentencing submissions after admitting two counts of deception in relation to the use of his government car and to one count of conspiring to commit an abuse of public office.

The court was told Harrap had tried to avoid demerit points on his licence over speeding fines by lying about who was driving his car at the time.

Defence counsel David Edwardson QC said it was important to note that while Harrap had initially lied and brought others into his offending, he had not continued to lie when confronted by police.

“When one looks at Mr Harrap, it’s readily apparent that his reputation, his character and his career have been utterly destroyed as a consequence of this extraordinary error of judgment,” Mr Edwardson said.

The court was told Harrap apologised for his offending and was both contrite and remorseful.

He also took full responsibility for his actions.

It heard he had already suffered greatly through his resignation as a magistrate which had also impacted on his ability to help care for his disabled daughter.

Prosecutors have asked that Harrap be jailed, but Mr Edwardson asked for a suspended sentence or home detention.

He said a jail sentence could also place Harrap at high risk of being targeted while in prison.

Mr Edwardson said the court could be sure there would be no repeat of Harrap’s offending.

“There is nothing to suggest he would ever do anything like this ever again,” he said.

Harrap’s early pleas mean he will be eligible for a discount of 40 per cent on any sentence imposed.

He was charged after an investigation by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

bob harrap magistrate court
Lawyer Catherine Moyse pleaded guilty to related offence on Friday. Photo: AAP

Also before the District Court on Friday were his three co-accused.

Lawyer Catherine Moyse has pleaded guilty to conspiring to abuse public office.

While Melanie Freeman and police prosecutor Abigail Foulkes have both admitted deception offences, related to the traffic fines.

Sentencing submissions for Freeman and Foulkes will be presented in November with sentencing set for later that month.