Drug crash stu­dent avoids jail

Joondalup Weekender - - Front Page -

A TEENAGE univer­sity stu­dent cried in Joon­dalup Mag­is­trates Court on Fri­day as a jail sen­tence loomed over him for caus­ing a car crash – the day after a night of tak­ing drugs – that se­ri­ously in­jured a woman near Yanchep last year.

Lach­lan Alexan­der Robert Bas­sett es­caped an im­me­di­ate jail term but was handed a 12-month term sus­pended for 15 months after he pleaded guilty to dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs. He was banned from driv­ing for two years.

The court heard Bas­sett, who was 18 at the time, had taken ec­stasy and Xanax at Ledge Point the night be­fore the crash, which hap­pened about 3.20pm on In­dian Ocean Drive when he was head­ing back to Perth on Satur­day, Au­gust 26.

He had smoked cannabis the morn­ing be­fore the in­ci­dent.

The pros­e­cu­tor said the ve­hi­cle Bas­sett was driv­ing drifted over dou­ble white lines and into the path of an on­com­ing car car­ry­ing a man and woman.

The court heard the 47-year-old fe­male pas­sen­ger suf­fered chest in­juries and se­ri­ous foot dam­age re­quir­ing mul­ti­ple surg­eries that would keep her off work as a teacher for 12 months.

Bas­sett, who was also in­jured in the crash, un­der­went a drug test that dis­cov­ered he had 0.18g of MDA, a sub­stance of­ten found in ec­stasy in place of the usual MDMA, in his sys­tem and cannabis.

His only ex­pla­na­tion was that he must have fallen asleep.

Bas­sett’s lawyer said his client ac­cepted the after-ef­fects of the drugs had left him un­able to have proper con­trol of a ve­hi­cle and that he could have caused a death.

But given Bas­sett was driv­ing with­out hav­ing had much sleep, the lawyer sub­mit­ted the crash was “prob­a­bly caused as much by his tired­ness as by the sub­stances he had taken.”

Po­lice had stopped him for a ran­dom breath test in Lancelin the morn­ing of the day of the crash, which found no al­co­hol in his sys­tem. He has since taken coun­selling and ceased all drug use.

The af­ter­math of the crash on In­dian Ocean Drive.

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