AN experienced motorcycle racer who out-paced police by riding his motorcycle at 215km/h near Purnim avoided prison due to the condition of the state’s jails.
Nathan McPherson, 28, now of Timor Street, Warrnambool, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court to reckless conduct endangering serious injury, dangerous driving while being pursued by police, unlicensed driving, theft and using false number plates.
The former WA miner was fined $7250 and copped a six-month jail sentence, which was suspended for two years, and his driver’s licence was cancelled for three years. Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said one of the reasons he did not lock up McPherson was the appalling conditions in Victoria’s jails, which he described as “bursting at the seams”.
He said McPherson put himself and other road users at risk through his foolish driving behaviour.
“You may be the next best thing to Casey Stoner on the track, but south-west roads are not billiard table smooth,” Mr Klestadt said.
‘‘Any unexpected road irregularity would likely cause you to lose control.
“If your vehicle struck another vehicle it would be like a bomb going off.
‘‘If you ran into a fence post dropper you would be dead.
‘‘At 215km/h your motorcycle travels 60 metres every second.”
Police alleged that at 8.18pm on April 20 McPherson was riding a red 998cc Ducati super bike along the Hamilton Highway near Purnim when he was detected by police travelling at 140km/h.
McPherson pulled over in Purnim for a couple of seconds then accelerated away.
The police officer terminated a pursuit when he was unable to reach the motorbike which was travelling in excess of 215km/h.
A check of the motorcycle’s licence plate found the number was registered to a blue Yamaha.
Lengthy inquiries revealed that McPherson had taken the number plate from a friend’s garage and fixed it to his bike.
McPherson surrendered himself to police, his motorbike, which he has since sold, was impounded, and he told officers he had “just freaked”.
Defence counsel Matt Senia said his client, who was an experienced motorcycle racer, could not resist going for a ride after returning home from working in Western Australia.
He said McPherson hit high speeds in an attempt to avoid police because he was in trouble.
Mr Klestadt said McPherson had earlier this year appeared in a Western Australia court for almost identical offending.
McPherson must complete a safe driver course before being eligible to get his licence back.