A WOMAN facing court over multiple offences yesterday refused help from one of Ballarat’s top criminal lawyers in the belief he was not a qualified practitioner.
The court heard Belinda Frampton, 29, initially declined representation by Mike Wardell because she did not believe he was a practising solicitor.
“I think Ms Frampton had difficulty believing I was a solicitor,” Mr Wardell told the court upon finally representing her.
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson told an agitated Frampton not to worry about Mr Wardell’s qualifications.
“I can assure you, Mr Wardell is a qualified legal practitioner,” Ms Hodgson said.
Frampton faced a number of charges, including theft of a motor car, burglary, shop theft, theft, driving while disqualified and assaulting police.
Speaking of their interaction in the cells of the Ballarat police station, Frampton said she did not want to tell Mr Wardell her “life story” because he could not produce a business card.
Mr Wardell, a member of the Victorian Bar Association who runs his own Ballarat law firm, requested an adjournment of Frampton’s matters until September 23.
In court yesterday, Frampton also expressed her views on the Victorian prison system.
“I don’t think there are the amenities there to help with mental health issues,” she said.
“It’s hard enough living day-to-day in the prison system.”
Frampton was remanded to re-appear on September 23 for a further mention hearing.