Court told of abuse and destabilisation
Court told of abuse and destabilisation John Weekes

Spun out by 'father's childhood abuse'

A GYMPIE region man's life was derailed by an abusive father, Gympie Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

The man's claimed past as an abuse victim means he cannot be named.

But Gympie magistrate Chris Callaghan told the man, 37, it did not excuse driving on the Mary Valley Highway in a way which threatened the safety of police and other drivers.

"You can't overtake over a single line on the crest of a hill,” Mr Callaghan said.

The magistrate also noted the man was "on a suspended sentence when he did all this”.

Mr Callaghan said the man had refused to stop for police and drove an unsafe car in a dangerous manner to try to escape them.

He said there was good reason for the courts to impose serious penalties for attempting to evade police.

"Police officers die, people fleeing the police die and other people die.”

He said he was aware of the case of a girl, 11, who was killed by a driver fleeing police.

The man also pleaded guilty to dangerous and unlicensed driving as a repeat offender as well as drug driving and driving an unsafe, unregistered and uninsured vehicle, all between April 18 and August 6 this year.

The court was told the man had a difficult past including a "quite abusive” father.

He had psychiatric as well as anger management issues.

He told the court he had just "panicked” when he saw police behind him.

Mr Callaghan said mental health issues made jail less effective and ordered 240 hours community service as well as disqualifying him from driving for two years.

Gympie Times


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