Teenager fined for driv­ing of­fences


A BOWEN teenager who went on a “five-day binge” dur­ing Air­lie Beach Schoolies week was de­scribed as a “toolie” and “re­morse­less... to the end” in the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court this week.

Jack West Ash­ton was 18 last Novem­ber when he drove a car down the main street of Air­lie Beach while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol and with­out his green P plates at­tached.

To make mat­ters worse, Ash­ton, who re­cently turned 19, ran away from po­lice and ini­tially de­nied his crimes de­spite the fact he was ‘caught on cam­era’.

In court on Mon­day, po­lice pros­e­cu­tor El­iz­a­beth Smith out­lined the night of Novem­ber 22, when po­lice saw Ash­ton driv­ing a sil­ver Ford sedan through the Water­son Way round­about at speed. Ms Smith said the car turned into the main street with a dis­tinct “out­ward lean”. She said Ash­ton parked, got out of the driver’s seat and sprinted across the road away from po­lice. The whole sce­nario was cap­tured by a cam­era mounted on the dash­board of the po­lice car.

Ash­ton, who ad­mit­ted drink­ing half a car­ton of beer that day, blew 0.178.

On Novem­ber 26 he was banned from the Air­lie Beach Safe Night Precinct (SNP) from 6pm-6am for 10 days. The very next day he was found at la­goon play­ground at 1.10am.

Ms Smith said Ash­ton had not shown any re­morse for his ac­tions, in fact con­tin­u­ally deny­ing the driv­ing charges, which were pre­vi­ously listed for trial.

Mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist agreed Ash­ton had “no scru­ple” in forc­ing the pros­e­cu­tion to com­plete prepa­ra­tions for a trial – even though he knew his ac­tions had been filmed.

De­fence solic­i­tor Leah McDon­nell from Ruddy, Tom­lins & Bax­ter, said Ash­ton hadn’t come to court to make ex­cuses for his be­hav­iour and that since this “five-day al­co­hol ben­der” he had changed his ways. Mr St­jern­qvist wasn’t con­vinced. “You de­serve neg­li­gi­ble mit­i­gat­ing con­sid­er­a­tion,” he told Ash­ton.

“[And] the big ticket item is that you’re a triple zero P plater [and] 0.178 is light years from triple zero”.

For the driv­ing of­fences, Ash­ton was fined $1300 and dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for 12 months. For con­tra­ven­ing the ban­ning no­tice he re­ceived an ad­di­tional $440 fine. Con­vic­tions were not recorded on any count.

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