Tourist ‘nudges’ woman with hire car

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

A TOURIST, who drove at a Proser­pine mo­tel worker after she told him to leave the prop­erty, has been fined $900.

Joseph An­thony Pe­tra­novic, 52, of Glen­wood, NSW, pleaded guilty in Proser­pine Mag­is­trates Court on Mon­day to driv­ing with­out due care and at­ten­tion.

Pros­e­cu­tor Robert Beamish told the court Pe­tra­novic drove a Rav4 hire car into the slip drive­way of the Reef Gar­dens Mo­tel off the Bruce High­way at 11.30am on Au­gust 5.

A worker in one of the mo­tel rooms saw Pe­tra­novic drive in at speed and went to tell him to back up and leave, Mr Beamish said.

The court heard the woman stood in front of the ve­hi­cle and, in­stead of re­vers­ing, Pe­tra­novic drove for­ward five or 10 me­tres, push­ing her and forc­ing her to move back­wards.

He then left, but re­turned five or 10 min­utes later and drove through the mo­tel grounds at speed from the north­ern drive­way and ex­it­ing at the south­ern drive­way, Mr Beamish said.

He called out to the woman at that time, say­ing “you won’t catch us, it’s a hire car”, Mr Beamish said.

Po­lice caught up with Pe­tra­novic at the air­port and charged him.

Pe­tra­novic’s so­lic­i­tor Ali Ladd said her client had been head­ing to the air­port and re­alised he needed to get fuel and had thought he would turn in the drive­way to drive back into the cen­tre of town.

“He did not think it was ap­pro­pri­ate to re­v­erse out,” she said.

In­stead, she said he “nudged” his ve­hi­cle for­ward so he could turn around.

“My client ac­cepts in hind­sight it wasn’t the most ap­pro­pri­ate place to turn around,” Ms Ladd said.

She told the court the woman did not re­ceive any in­juries in the in­ci­dent and that Pe­tra­novic did not have a court driv­ing or crim­i­nal record in ei­ther Queens­land or his home state of NSW.

Mag­is­trate Ron Muir­head fined Pe­tra­novic, but did not dis­qual­ify his driver’s li­cence at all.

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