Massive fine for woman who hit officer's bum with shovel
A Murray Bridge woman has been fined almost $115,000 for seven breaches of the state Development Act, including the smacking of a council officer on the backside with a shovel.
Holly Anne Louise Shires was found guilty of constructing unlawful developments at land she owned on Rachel Street, Murray Bridge, between August and September, 2018.
She placed a transportable hut and an amenity block on the land without council approval, then leased the land for use as an office and residence, a judgment read.
According to the judgement, Shires failed to comply with a council direction to remove the hut and a portion of the amenity building.
She was also found guilty of hindering an authorised council officer from carrying out their lawful duties while investigating the breaches in September, 2018.
Judge Michael Durrant said in the Environment, Resources and Development Court Shires' actions on that day "reflected her approach in this court".
"When challenged or unable to provide an answer in her interest or when required to make a concession against her interest - she would make a noisy fuss and resort to profanity, adopt an aggressive physical posture and blame others," Judge Durrant said.
"Given the behaviour of Ms Shires on that day, including striking an authorised officer with a shovel, it was unsurprising (the officer) had concluded she needed to get off the site."
He said she had not exhibited "any sign that her rehabilitation has commenced".
"She is not contrite," he said.
"I consider it very likely that Ms Shires will reoffend."
Shires argued she had taken steps to attain approval but she had been treated "very differently than other applicants", the judgment read.
However, Judge Durrant said Shires had not been "harassed or treated differently by the council".
"I consider that the offending of Ms Shires has harmed the community," Judge Durrant said.
"I have concluded that Ms Shires had been motivated in her offending in this case by commercial gain.
"She wanted to rent out the properties as soon as possible and had advertised them for rent before approval and before completion.
"She received rent for the office when it had been incomplete and full of workers tools.
"She rented the buildings as a residence before they had been ready for that purpose."
The Messenger has contacted Ms Shires for comment.
Originally published as Massive fine for woman who smacked council officer on bum with shovel