A WARRNAMBOOL man who harassed a pregnant policewoman and her two children during a horror road rage incident near Deakin University has been jailed for at least five months.
Kane William Moon, 25, of Cyma Street, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to driving in a manner dangerous, offensive behaviour, driving an unregistered vehicle and failing to answer bail.
He was jailed for eight months, with five months to serve immediately and three months suspended for 12 months.
Moon was also convicted and fined $800 and his driver’s licence was cancelled for two years. The defendant has appealed against the severity of the sentence and was released on bail.
The case became more complicated when the policewoman made a report about the incident to a district police station and her husband — who is also a police officer — investigated.
Magistrate Greg McNamara said he found it extraordinary that the husband would have investigated the case.
“That should never have happened,” Mr McNamara said. However, he added that situation had nothing to do with Moon’s driving or the investigation of the facts.
Police told the court that on December 19, 2011, Moon was driving east along Raglan Parade about 7pm in a friend’s Holden Commodore sedan bearing green P-plates and false number plates.
The owner of the vehicle was a passenger in the car which was travelling in a 70 km/h zone near Mahoneys Road.
Moon sped up after moving into the right-hand lane until he was less than a metre behind the pregnant policewoman, who had her 14-year-old daughter and 20-month-old son in the car.
The woman accelerated to 100km/h and then 120km/h in an effort to move clear of Moon.
The accused man moved into the right-hand turning lane into Deakin University and accelerated rapidly until there were three cars abreast heading east along the highway.
He boxed in the victim’s car and then attempted to push her into the left-hand lane and into another vehicle she was overtaking.
Moon continued to accelerate and as the turning lane was running out braked heavily before dropping in behind the woman and again tailgating her.
Police described Moon’s driving as highly dangerous and erratic and when the woman moved over into the left-hand lane, Moon and his passengers pulled alongside laughing and jeering at her and her children.
They rudely gestured before Moon accelerated away.
The woman felt unsafe and feared she and her children were going to be in a fatal car accident. The incident happened six days before Christmas and traffic was heavy.
Defence counsel Xavier Farrelly acknowledged his client’s driving behaviour was dangerous but the delay in the case being heard had in part been caused by the unusual investigation.
He said Moon claimed the woman had pulled out in front of him, his client had overreacted and his passengers had been egging him on.
Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Kevin Mullins submitted that the way the police investigation had been undertaken did not alter the facts of the case — that it was only luck that there had not been a fatal accident.
He said Moon had only come up with lame excuses and if all drivers behaved in a similar manner then the roads would be a war zone.
Mr McNamara said it was hard to imagine a more serious case of poor driving.
He said Moon’s driving was outrageous and the victim and her daughter had been subjected to a terrifying experience.
Mr McNamara said Moon had a poor criminal history which included offences of burglary, assault and possessing weapons and only a jail term was appropriate.