Magistrates and grannies across Adelaide celebrated the news this morning that radio shock-jock Bob Francis has been sentenced to nine weeks in prison over his comments that a magistrate’s face should be smashed in.

But the smirk on magistrate Gary Gumpl’s face won’t last long since Francis has escaped going to jail — instead he’s been fined $20,000 and been put on an 18-month good behaviour bond after being convicted on two counts of contempt of court.

In October last year Francis used his top-rating evening program on Adelaide’s 5AA to discuss the case of Robert John Walker, who’d been charged with possessing child pornography.

Walker hadn’t entered a plea at the time, but during the program Francis said Walker was guilty and went on to describe the case as “worse than Snowtown.” He also said a decision by Adelaide magistrate Gumpl to hear Walker’s bail application was irresponsible.

“Am I here as a normal bloody human being or do judges live in another world?” said Francis. “Oh, smash the judge’s face in.”

Supreme Court Justice Bleby also fined 5AA station owners Festival City Broadcasters $80,000.

Crikey suggests that Bob the bully keeps his anger in check by steering clear of talkback callers like Constance, the “stupid old lady” who infuriated Francis so much last year that he called a “d-ck brain” on air.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey