P-plater faces sentence over Braunstone crash
A MAN whose reckless actions on the road left a motorcycle rider with serious injuries is facing up to two years in jail.
Casino resident Aaron Annetts appeared in Grafton Local Court yesterday, having pleaded guilty to a charge of causing bodily harm by misconduct, in charge of a motor vehicle.
The 36-year-old green provisional license holder was behind the wheel of a Holden sedan, heading south on Armidale Rd, Braunstone about 3pm on September 23 last year, when he was forced to slow down due to traffic ahead.
Annetts came pulled up behind a ute and BMW motorcycle, before attempting to overtake them on a stretch of road with limited visibility.
His decision to veer across a solid white line into the northbound lane proved to be an error of judgment, and resulted in a northbound driver having to slam on the brakes and swerve into a drain to avoid a head-on collision.
Annetts also swerved to avoid the collision - straight into path of the motorcycle rider.
It was estimated by police that the car was travelling at least 80km/hr when it impacted with the bike.
The victim, 56-year-old Mark Lock, suffered a broken left humorous, a fractured right knee, fractured finger and bruising and abrasions as a result of the crash.
Annetts' vehicle suffered minor damage, and he and his three passengers were unhurt. No information was given on the state of the northbound vehicle or its two passengers.
Yesterday he was supported by family and friends in court, as defense solicitor Greg Coombes told the court the 36-year-old was aware the charge carried a custodial sentence of up to two years, and was afraid of going to jail.
He also tried to argue Annetts' need to keep his license, but was cut off by Magistrate Denes who said he would be automatically disqualified from driving for three years.
"(The victim) suffered a broken leg and a fractured knee; he also had a need for license and has a family that's concerned," the magistrate said.
"This is really serious, the top of the tree as far as local court goes."
Annetts will be sentenced on July 17.