Dangerous P-plater avoids jail

A WARRNAMBOOL P-plater who repeatedly drove while suspended and was caught travelling at 175km/h on the Hume Freeway has received a four-month suspended sentence and been fined $2500.

Joshua Grant, 19, previously of Sunbury, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday to a string of driving offences including driving while suspended, driving at a dangerous speed, driving unroadworthy vehicles and using false number plates.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Sandra Skilton called for an immediate jail term, saying Grant had flouted the road rules and he was lucky he wasn’t featuring in the Coroners Court or Supreme Court after killing himself or someone else.

In May last year Grant lost his licence for six months after being caught speeding.

At 9.43am on September 12 Grant was driving a Hyundai near Violet Town when he was detected by police at 175km/h.

He told officers he had received a call from a friend who had been involved in an accident and was looking for him. Police confirmed there had been an accident and his friend had been treated by emergency services.

Officers found the Hyundai’s lights and indicators were smashed, the battery and both bumper bars were loose and the tyres so unroadworthy they were out of shape. Grant’s car was impounded for 30 days,  costing him $1125 in impoundment fees.

The next day Grant was again caught by police driving while unlicensed in another unregistered vehicle, then again in July and October.

Defence counsel Xavier Farrelly said Grant originally lost his licence for speeding and requested he receive a suspended jail sentence.

He said Grant had reacted to his friend’s situation inappropriately and he should have called emergency services.

Magistrate Peter Mellas said it was tempting to lock up Grant and the police allegations read like Grant had a death wish.

He said the major concern was the danger Grant posed to other road users.

Grant was convicted and fined $2500, received a four-month suspended jail sentence and will have to undertake a road trauma awareness course. His driver’s licence was cancelled for 18 months.